Thomas Rhett began 2016 with what is likely to be one of the year’s biggest country songs: the multi-week Number One “Die a Happy Man.” Even after it fades from heavy rotation on radio, the second single from Rhett’s ACM-nominated album Tangled Up is destined to be a wedding staple for years to come.
Last night, Rhett visited The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to sing the song and gave a relaxed performance that played up the casual soulfulness of its grooves. With some tasteful, emotive steel guitar flourishes to complement him, Rhett’s declarations of love for his wife are powerfully sincere and pure — no doubt part of what made the song such a huge hit.
That makes it a tough act to follow, both in Rhett’s live show and as a radio release.
“Even in our set, it s like, ‘Well, what do you play after that?'” Rhett tells Rolling Stone Country. “Because it’s the biggest moment of your set and anything after that is just set up to be thrown up and shot and killed.”
Rhett opted to change gears and released the up-tempo, sexy “T-Shirt” as the third single from Tangled Up, while rapper Nelly just released his own pop-ready version of “Die a Happy Man.”