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They make them different in Texas. They make ’em stronger, they make them wiser and they make them unafraid to be themselves in every situation.




And even though he hails from California, that’s why rising country star Jon Pardi enjoys hanging around with Texans, and one superstar Texan in particular.

“The true Jon Pardi is right here, right in front of your face,” the Rare Country Awards New Artist of the Year nominee said of himself during a recent backstage interview with Rare Country at Joe’s Bar in Chicago. “I will just as much rock out, balls out, right here as much as I will onstage. Just remember that.”

We will Jon – you can count on it.

It’s this attitude that has sparked the friendship between Jon and his upcoming 2018 “Livin’ Like Hippies Tour” mate and Texas girl Miranda Lambert.

“I love Miranda, but God, I don’t need seven dogs,” Jon laughed, referring to the country superstar’s love for her pets. “I got two and that’s good enough. She always says to me, ‘But Jon, I can’t let a stray one go.’”

RELATED: Jon Pardi proves he has Luke Bryan-worthy moves in this home video

Jon laughed again, his hands falling to his knees in hysterics.

“But yeah, Miranda is awesome and a great songwriter,” he says. “She knows exactly who she is and she knows exactly what she wants to do. She doesn’t take any shit from nobody. She’s a true Texan. As an artist who knows who I am, I totally respect her and all she does, from the singles she releases to the songs she writes. I recorded a song that her and Eric Church wrote for the next record, and I am still begging her to sing with me, so we will see. I love Miranda. She is a genuine, great artist.”

Miranda is one of many of country music’s finest that have taken Jon under their wing since he first broke onto the country music scene in 2013 with “Up All Night.” In fact, as Jon stepped onto the CMA Awards stage in November to accept his Best New Artist award, he shared hugs with a slew of adoring artists, including Thomas Rhett, Dan + Shay and Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley.

RELATED: Take a listen to Miranda Lambert’s new collaboration with a punk rock band

Another proud artist looking on during that special moment of Jon’s life was Dierks Bentley.

“I owe Dierks Bentley everything,” he said. “When he took me out [on tour,] he immediately made me feel like I was part of everything and I was important and we could hang out. I look up to him so much. I love him. He’s the best.”

And now, Jon’s plan is to play the same role for other up-and-coming artists.

“I always go back to the dreams of a young me, when I thought about what it would be like to be at this point of my career and how I would want to go out with everyone and hang out in the bar and have fun,” said Jon, who is in the midst of wrapping up the “CMT On Tour Presents Jon Pardi’s Lucky Tonight Tour” alongside Runaway June and fellow Rare Country Awards nominee Midland. “I always try, and will [continue to] try, to do that.”

Jon is nominated for New Artist of the Year in the Rare Country Awards. Miranda is up for both Female Artist and Story of the Year, and it’s up to you to decide the winners. Vote now through Dec. 13 at RareCountryAwards.com. Winners will be revealed during a livestreamed concert event on Dec. 14 in Nashville.

Jon Pardi reflects on his friendship with Miranda Lambert Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images
Tricia Despres is the contributing editor for Rare Country, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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