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Brad Paisley releases song featuring Zelensky on Ukraine war’s anniversary

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and country singer Brad Paisley
Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appears in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sept. 8, 2022, left, and country singer Brad Paisley attends a ceremony honoring Carrie Underwood with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Sept. 20, 2018, in Los Angeles. Paisley is releasing a new song called “Same Here,” that features Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the one-year anniversary of the Russian-Ukraine war.

Brad Paisley is releasing a new song featuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to support Ukraine on the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of the country.

The country music star said Friday — which marked a year since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces entered Ukraine — that the solemn anniversary served as a reminder “of the ways we are all so similar.”

The song, called “Same Here,” highlights freedom, which Paisley said will be a key theme on his forthcoming album “Son of the Mountains.”

In the song, Paisley sings about California and the “Left Coast cliches,” which include “plastic people and paparazzi.”

“But tell me, is there a bar on your corner where you buy each other beers and solve all the world’s problems? Same here,” Paisley, 50, croons in the number he co-wrote with Lee Thomas Miller and Taylor Goldsmith.

He then recites values that unite the world, singing, “However you talk, whatever you think, from the songs that you sing to the drink that you drink. Miss your mama, and worried about your babies, and love each other like crazy. Want someone to share your hopes and fears — same here.”

“The song is grounded in observing life in the United States, then to people from other countries who speak different languages and to one across the ocean that’s at war,” Paisley said in a statement about the new tune. “We start to realize how similar we all are.”

An interlude in the song includes a conversation between Paisley and Zelensky, with the musician asking Ukraine’s leader what’s the same both in the United States and the Eastern European country.

“We speak different languages now in our life, yes, but I think we appreciate the same things: children, freedom, our flag, our soldiers, our people — the biggest treasure we have, and friends. And we’re proud of our army, who defend our freedom and who defend our life,” Zelensky replies in the song.

In a statement, Paisley said, “That’s one of the things [Zelensky] says in the song, ‘There is no distance between our two countries in such values.’ They are longing for what we as Americans have already.”

“It’s heartbreaking watching this struggle in modern times for freedom and democracy and the ability to just simply be who they want to be in peace,” the West Virginia-born performer said. “And this song is something that I hope resonates not only with my fans and people in America, but people anywhere that feel a similar desire to be free and safe and happy. Because I really do believe that as human beings when you take away the banners that determine what country we all live in, we all want the same things.”

Paisley said proceeds from the song will benefit UNITED24’s Rebuild Ukraine program, which was launched by Zelensky last year. The entertainer was named as an UNITED24 ambassador last month.

Tags Brad Paisley Country music Russia Russo-Ukrainian War Ukraine Ukraine war Ukraine war anniversary Vladimir Putin Volodymyr Zelensky

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