The country singer spoke candidly about his and his wife’s mental health struggles, later bringing her on stage for a heartfelt duet
On day two of Stagecoach 2023, Kane Brown delivered one of the most candid moments at this year’s festival, opening up about his struggle with depression before performing his new track “Memory,” which features Blackbear.
Brown took the stage flanked with pyrotechnics and played a range of high-energy hits from “Famous Friends” to “One Mississippi.” Halfway through his set, the tempo slowed, and he spoke directly to the audience. “How many of you go through depression?” he asked. “Don’t be scared. How many of you? I go through it.”
The singer shared how he and his wife have helped each other through their struggles with mental health — a heartfelt intro before he dove into his hit song “Memory,” a collaboration with singer-producer Blackbear. Written by both Brown and Blackbear along with Andrew Goldstein, Joe Kirkland, and Ernest Smith, the genre-crossing pop ballad challenges the stigma around depression and anxiety. As Brown played for one of the biggest crowds of his career, the audience — a sea of cowboy hats swaying to the beat — embraced the lyrics, singing along to every word: “I want to live life fast, I don’t know how to slow down/Want to get high, I don’t know how to come down/Help me now, I’m running on empty/And I don’t want to be a memory.”
While his set wasn’t joined by any of the burgeoning artists he’s recently collaborated with — there haven’t been many at the festival so far — the headliner did bring out his only guest of the night. “Everybody always brings a special guest to these things, but can I bring my wife out?” he said as the crowd erupted in cheers. Katelyn Brown then joined him for a duet; the couple sang the radio favorite love song, “Thank God.”
Brown recently co-hosted the CMT Awards with artist Kelsea Ballerini. He performed with Katelyn that night as well, and took home the night’s top prize, the coveted Video of the Year award for “Thank God.”