November 10, 2010 12:00 PM

Chris Young remembers exactly when the idea for his latest hit “Voices” first came up. It was his first writing session with Nashville songwriter Chris Tompkins, and “he looked at me and said, ‘Don’t laugh, but I’ve got this really cool idea, and it’s called ‘I Hear Voices,’ ” Young recalls. “I was like, ‘Ooookay…here we go.’ ”

But before long the two were knocking out lyrics with ease. “It’s about the people who are influential to you and the advice you get from your family-the stuff that sticks with you,” he says. “I’m real close to my family, and I can tell you a story about each line in the song.”

Like the time he was about 10 years old and decided he was done with baseball. Young was the shortest kid on the team and “terribly uncoordinated,” says the now 6′ 4″ singer. “I had a really bad game and was just like, ‘I’m going to quit.’ But my dad said, ‘You can’t give up on something just because it’s hard.’ ” Or the many times his granddad doled out wisdom. “We’d sit in his house, playing guitar and listening to old Marty Robbins records,” he says. “We still do that!”

Having the chance to pay homage to those moments was irresistible, Young says. “Sometimes you’re just drawn to a song because it fits your life,” he says. “That’s what made this special to me.”




“That’s something I can hear my dad saying to me,” says Young (front center, at the 1996 wedding of stepdad Michael Harris to his mom).

“My dad sayin,’ ‘Work that job, but don’t work your life away’ ”


“When common sense goes out the window, advice keeps you grounded,” he says (with his grandparents Margaret and Richard Yates in ’02).

“Granddad sayin’, ‘You can have a few but don’t ever cross that line’ ”


“I have a strong image of being in church as a kid, having my mom give me a dollar,” says the singer (with mom Becky in ’01).

“Mama tellin’ me to drop some cash in the offering plate on Sunday”

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