This inspired pairing unseated Sam Hunt from the top of the chart YouTube/KaneBrownVEVO

Success is often sweeter when it’s shared with a friend, and childhood pals Kane Brown and Lauren Alaina have come a long way since the middle school choir class where Lauren encouraged her friend to share his voice. In October, the duo hit the top of the charts with “What Ifs,” a song about all the questions and doubts that plague new relationships. The hit single knocked Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” off the summit after a lengthy 34-week stay, and became Kane and Lauren’s first No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. It also made Lauren the first woman to hit the top of that chart in 2017.

The song, which Kane co-wrote, wasn’t originally intended as a duet, but once he and his team decided to take it in that direction Kane knew exactly who he wanted to recruit.

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“Once we decided on adding a woman to ‘What Ifs,’ I knew that I wanted Lauren to sing it, and, of course, she killed it,” he has said. The fact that the song was accompanied by a sultry video, filmed on a cliff above a roaring ocean, didn’t hurt its popularity either, and it provided a great memory for the two young stars.

“We just stood there looking out over the ocean,” Kane told Rare Country. “The trees and the grass were super green and the ocean was, like, this gorgeous turquoise blue, and it was just like a scene out of a movie. And here I am with Lauren, someone who I went to school with and whose career is taking off at the same time as mine is – it was just a pretty crazy moment.”

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The longtime friends are now nominated for Duet of the Year in the Rare Country Awards, and it’s up to you to decide the winner. Voting begins Nov. 13 at and runs until Dec. 13. Winners will be revealed during a livestreamed concert on Dec. 14.

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