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Brad Paisley drops new song featuring President Zelensky to mark one year of Ukraine war

A man wearing a white cowboy hat and a black shirt poses in front of a backdrop
Brad Paisley released new song “Same Here” on the first anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine.
(Charles Sykes / Invision/AP)
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Marking one year since Russia started a war with Ukraine, country singer Brad Paisley released “Same Here,” a new song featuring a soundbite from a conversation he had with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“On this one year anniversary of the invasion, I’m reminded of the ways we are all so similar,” Paisley, 50, wrote Thursday on Instagram. “Here is the first song available from my new project. This is ‘Same Here’. Featuring Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy.”

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Paisley’s first song since 2021 is an acoustic guitar ballad that references universal themes, including traffic, “left-coast clichés” and bars “where you buy each other beers and solve all the world’s problems.” But it also includes a verse referring to Ukraine’s comedian-turned-leader and the plight of his people.

“I’ve got a friend across the ocean / Seems like a million miles away / He says our worlds are very different / Yeah, that’s true but I gotta say / He’s got his own kind of football team that lets him down every year / A wife he loves and a bunch of dreams for his country he holds so dear / He prays for peace and freedom / Same here,” Paisley sings.

The three-time Grammy Award winner closes the song with audio from a video call he had with Zelensky, asking him how to say “same here” in Ukrainian, which is closely related to Russian: It’s “те ж саме (te zh same),” the globe-trotting politician replies.

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“We speak different languages in our life,” Zelensky says on the call. “But I think we appreciate [the] same things: children, freedom, our flag, our soldiers, our people.

“There is no distance between our two countries in such values,” he adds.

Paisley told the Associated Press that he believes Zelensky “understands that art is how you reach the most people, especially in the heart.” As one of the celebrity ambassadors for Ukraine’s United24 crowdfunding effort, the “Whiskey Lullaby” and “She’s Everything” singer plans to donate his royalties for the song to build housing for displaced Ukrainians.

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Paisley wrote “Same Here” with Lee Thomas Miller (who also co-wrote his hits “The World” and “Perfect Storm”) and Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith. The song is on Paisley’s upcoming album “Son of the Mountains,” which he said in a separate video he had been “quietly working on” for the past year. The album is written from the perspective of “a kid from West Virginia looking at the world today,” he added.

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The country star also announced this week that after a 20-year career at Sony Music’s Arista Nashville record label, he has joined Universal Music Group Nashville’s imprint EMI Records Nashville. “Son of the Mountains” will be his first album with the new label and is expected this year.

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