Charles Kelley is following his successful debut solo single, “The Driver,” with another bombshell: “Lonely Girl,” written by none other than country’s newest legend-in-the-making, Chris Stapleton, along with Jesse Frasure.

The unique tune has a memorable vibe, with a thumping bassline and flavors of old school R&B, pop-rock and even a dash of reggae swirled together under Kelley’s country-Americana vocals. The artist says he’s loved the song since his first listen, but it didn’t quite fit with Lady Antebellum’s style.

“I’ve been wanting to cut this song since I heard it about three years ago,” Kelley shares. “At the time, it wasn’t the right fit for Lady A, so when we started digging into my solo project, I knew it would be a big part of the record. It’s not easy to follow Stapleton’s demo, I mean he’s the best singer in our genre, but I put my own little spin on it and it's turned out to be a favorite live."

The haunting verses soon break into a driving, catchy chorus featuring bright guitars and a singable melody sure to solidify a place on the country charts soon enough. Kelley performed the tune with a confident swagger in his live video series featuring himself and his band playing on the roof of Capitol Records, and fans can catch that same conviction at the upcoming ACM Awards on Sunday, April 3, where he is slated to perform the new single.

Kelley will be back with Lady A soon, but for now he’s focusing on cultivating his own sound. He's headed out on the road starting April 9 with his brother Josh Kelley to tour his record The Driver, the title track of which was nominated for a Grammy. Going solo is not the only new change in the artist's life recently, as he became a father just weeks ago to his first child, Ward Charles, and is now navigating the challenges that come with new fatherhood — including stroller-folding. Kelley says he’s already becoming “that dad” who can’t help but post photos of his baby online, even though he told himself he wouldn’t. His fans don’t seem to mind seeing his adorable child once in a while, though!

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