The country star tells PEOPLE he decided to name his upcoming new album after his Kane Brown collaboration "Famous Friends" after seeing the song make "a name for itself with how much people love it"

By Brianne Tracy
June 09, 2021 12:00 PM
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Chris Young
Chris Young
| Credit: Jeff Johnson

Chris Young fans, the wait is over!

The country star, 35, is set to release his highly-anticipated eighth studio album Famous Friends - his first since 2017's Losing Sleep - on Aug. 6, PEOPLE can exclusively reveal.

"We've been teasing everybody for years," Young tells PEOPLE. "I'm really, really excited to have this album out there for everybody and to be able to announce it."

"It's been so long that I've been talking about all the stuff that I did in the past year-and-a-half, and I think people at one point thought I was just messing with them a little bit," he adds. "They were like, 'Do you actually have an album coming out?' But it's so exciting to have this information out there."

Chris Young Famous Friends
Chris Young's Famous Friends
| Credit: Courtesy RCA Records Nashville

When it came time to name the album, Young says it made "all the sense in the world" for him to call it Famous Friends after his duet with Kane Brown of the same name.

"This song has really made a name for itself with how much people love it," Young says of the track, which was released last November. "Going into the album launch right here in the heat of the summer with a song that's becoming one of the songs of the summer, it made a lot of sense to call this Famous Friends."

Chris Young, Kane Brown
Chris Young and Kane Brown's "Famous Friends" cover art

Along with the title track, the album will feature previously released songs "Raised on Country," "Drowning" and "Town Ain't Big Enough," which features Lauren Alaina.

At the 2021 CMT Music Awards on Wednesday Young is nominated with Brown, 27, in the collaborative video of the year category for their "Famous Friends" music video, which stars the two country crooners' real-life hometown friends.

"Everybody that gets named in this song is an actual person," Young told PEOPLE about the track in November. "I wrote this with two of my buddies, Corey Crowder and Cary Barlowe, the same two guys that I wrote 'Raised on Country' with. We actually wrote this the same weekend. This was the same bus trip. 'Famous Friends' was really that kind of song about your hometown and the people you grew up with."

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As for how he got Brown on board for the song, Young said it happened in a "completely organic" way.

"This is just between me and him and me shooting him a text saying, 'Hey, do you want to be on this song?' And him actually posting it this summer," he said. "He was like, 'Yeah, we've been listening to it out on the boat on the lake and everybody loves it.'"

The CMT Awards are June 9 at 8 p.m. ET on MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network and TV Land.