Married music stars Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, who met when they were both coaches on “The Voice,” have teamed up for a new version of a classic duet, thrilling fans who didn’t expect a new collaboration from the couple.
Shelton and Stefani recorded their own rendition of The Judds’ ballad “Love Is Alive” for the upcoming album “A Tribute to The Judds,” set to be released on October 27, 2023, in honor of the mother-daughter duo’s 40th anniversary, per an announcement from record label BMG.
Naomi, who died in April 2022 at age 76, and her daughter Wynonna released a string of 14 number one country singles between 1983 and 1990, per PBS. During that time, before Naomi retired for health reasons, they won eight CMA awards, five GRAMMYs, and sold over 20 million records.
On August 18, Shelton and Stefani’s cover of “Love Is Alive” became the first single to be released from the album, drawing an overwhelmingly positive response from fans, many who say their latest collaboration is evidence the couple should release a full country album. Here’s what you need to know:
Fans Swoon Over New Rendition of ‘Love Is Alive’
To celebrate the release of “Love Is Alive,” Stefani shared a behind-the-scenes Instagram reel from the recording session, writing that covering The Judds’ song was “such an honor and an incredible opportunity.”
Despite the fact Stefani’s roots are more pop than country, her fans gushed about her vocals on the classic tune.
One of Stefani’s fans wrote, “Y’all did a fantastic job! Loved that you were the lead in this, your voice is so beautiful! Can’t stop listening ❤️”
Another commented, “it’s perfect!!! you guys absolutely nailed it 💜💜💜 soo happy we got another duet from the both of you!!”
On Shelton’s post, fans were equally complimentary of the new version.
Another commented, “Outstanding!!!! It really showcases Gwen’s exceptional voice, you are great in harmony too, Blake! You two need to cut a country album NOW!! Y’all sound great together!!”
Perhaps the most important feedback came from The Judds’ Instagram account, which shared Stefani’s reel in its Stories and wrote, “WELL DONE.”
When the upcoming tribute album was announced in early August, Wynonna said, “To have all of these artists, most of which are my friends, come together and lend their voices and artistry to reimagine these songs, is so special. These songs are so timeless and I am so excited for them to live on for generations to come.”
According to Billboard, “A Tribute to The Judds” will also include covers by two dozen stars, mostly from country music, including Dolly Parton, Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson, Trisha Yearwood, Gabby Barrett, LeAnn Rimes and Reba McEntire, who will replace Shelton as a coach on “The Voice” in the upcoming season.
The Judds’ Producer Gushed Over Gwen Stefani & Blake Shelton’s Cover of Classic Song
“Love Is Alive” was written by Kent Robbins and released as part of Naomi and Wynonna Judd’s 1985 album “Why Not Me.” According to Country Now, the song become The Judds’ fourth number one hit. The song’s original producer, Brent Maher, also produced Shelton and Stefani’s version, saying in a statement that it was a “treat to re-record this wonderful song.”
“All I can say about Gwen’s vocal is, it’s perfect, and Blake’s harmony parts are wonderful,” Maher said. “I absolutely love how this recording turned out,” Maher said, adding that he thinks they “captured the original essence of the song.”
In a statement via BMG, Shelton said he and Stefani “wanted to stick pretty close to the original version, and Gwen just nails the vocal.”
On August 18, Shelton wrote on Instagram, “Thrilled to be part of this tribute album with @gwenstefani. @thejuddsofficial are one of the greatest country acts of our lifetime and 80’s country music is my favorite decade… I’ve been singing these songs for as long as I can remember.”
Stefani replied in the comment section, “Couldn’t dream this big!! Thank u!! For letting me be part of this- I love this song soooooo much!!”