Darius Rucker and Sara Evans Channel Johnny and June With New 'Jackson' Cover
By Sophie Schillaci
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Darius Rucker and Sara Evans are goin' down to "Jackson."
The pair teamed up for the Academy of Country Music's Superstar Duets Special, airing on Friday, May 15, on CBS. Even as a hurricane raged on at Arlington's Globe Life Park during the taping last month, Evans' and Rucker's spirits were high as they took on the Johnny Cash and June Carter classic.
"You know, the thing I've found at times like this," Rucker told ET, "as soon as the show starts and no one's left and the place is still packed, it's still a great night."
For Rucker, who's performed "Jackson" at several of his own concerts, singing with Evans was an opportunity not to be missed.
"I'm a really big fan and I thought that she'd be a really cool person to sing it with," he gushed. "I've sang it a couple times at some shows, and we were thinking about it and I just thought Sara would be a lot of fun and she could really kill it -- and at the rehearsals for the show, I was right."
You'd never know it, but Evans revealed that the pair only rehearsed twice before nailing it on stage. See a preview in the video above.
"I just went on his bus this morning and we ran through it one time with the guitar player, and then we went to the official dress rehearsal and did it one time there," she said, "and now we're gonna do it in a few minutes -- live -- before the whole world." But there were no nerves for the former ACM Female Vocalist of the Year. "He's easy to work with and the song is perfect for us," she said.
While neither star calls Nashville, Tenn., home (Rucker resides in Charleston, S.C., with his family, while Evans lives in Birmingham, Ala., with her hubby Jay Barker and their kids), the singers could always cross paths on the small-screen version of Nashville. Evans appeared as a guest on the show late last year, and Rucker says he'd love to follow suit.
"I love that show," he said. "I have a lot of friends that work on that show and I would love to do it. I think they're doing a great job. It'd be really cool to be on there someday."
For now, Rucker is busy promoting his brand new (and phenomenal, we might add) album Southern Style, while Evans is getting ready to return to the studio.
"We are in just the very beginning stages of figuring out when we're gonna record, what kind of album it's gonna be, and talking to producers and musicians and all that stuff," she revealed, confirming that they’ll start work this year. "I've not really worked that much since January, so right now I feel really rested and energized and re-focused. 2014 was a really, really busy year, so I'm sure that when I start writing I'll have a lot of positive energy flowing into this record."
ACM Presents: Superstar Duets also features performances from Lady Antebellum and Brandy Clark; Hunter Hayes and Brett Eldredge; The Band Perry and Deana Carter; Sam Hunt and Dwight Yoakam; and many, many more. Only ET was with the stars backstage at the event, so keep checking back all week for more from your favorite country stars and tune in to CBS on Friday, May 15, to see them in action.