It's official, y'all - Post Malone has gone country.
The Diamond-certified, genre-blending Hip Hop titan has confirmed he's hard at work on his debut country album, following a blockbuster performance at the 2023 CMA Awards alongside HARDY and Morgan Wallen. Although this spectacular set came as a shock to many - as did Posty's subsequent appearance on the latest instalment of HARDY's much-loved HIXTAPE series - the ‘Circles’ hitmaker has been a long-time country music aficionado, having shared a plethora of widely lauded country covers since the early days of his career.
We thought it would be fun to look back through the bearded crooner's stellar catalogue of covers, in order to try and gauge what we can expect from Posty's debut country album.
Will he stick to the early 2010s feel of Brad Paisley's ‘I'm Gonna Miss Her’, will he venture off the beaten track with a Sturgill Simpson-inspired brand of outlaw country, or will Post Malone surprise us all with a collection of bluegrass jams in the mould of Billy Strings? As this list of country covers will hopefully underline, whichever sound Posty goes for, we're sure it'll be nothing short of incredible.
Here are The 10 Best Post Malone Country Covers according to Holler:
The pre-performance banter between Blake Shelton and Post Malone during this 2019 Elvis tribute is comedy gold, with Blake looking confusedly across at Posty and asking what he should call him. However, this joint cover of Elvis’ iconic track, ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, feels somewhat off-the-cuff and a tad messy, even though the two artists bring a beguiling chemistry and levity to the stage. Additionally, Posty showcases the guttural vocal style that he utilises for his 2023 HIXTAPE anthem, ‘Pick-Up Man’, something we don't see as frequently on his rap material.
There's always an endearing sense of mutual satisfaction when a younger artist performs a country classic alongside the legend that made it famous, and this radiates throughout Post Malone and Dwight Yoakam's take on Yoakam's 1993 track, ‘Thousand Miles From Nowhere’.
The glee Post Malone feels at getting to deliver this beloved song alongside one of his heroes is mirrored by Yoakam's excitement at seeing how much the moment means to Posty.
Musically, it again comes across as a tad chaotic and discordant, due to the seemingly impromptu nature of the performance - but it's nonetheless an important cover that revealed Post Malone's penchant for outlaw, rough-around-the-edges country.
This grainy video is one of the first cherished performances that hinted at Post Malone's deep-seated affection for country music. His languid, off-hand delivery captures the forlorn lethargy of Hank Williams’ iconic original, with Posty showcasing how comfortable he feels singing alongside nothing more than an acoustic guitar. He'll be the first to admit his vocals have come a long way since these early days, and we'd love to see him take another swing at ‘There's A Tear In My Beer’ during his highly anticipated Stagecoach 2024 set of ‘Classic Country Covers’.
When watching this very, very old video of Post Malone playing a twinkling acoustic guitar and adopting a folky, drawn-in vocal style, it's hard to believe it's the same artist that went on to deliver ferocious, 808-fuelled trap hits such as ‘rockstar’ and ‘Wow.’
This beautifully intricate rendition of Bob Dylan's ‘Don't Think Twice, It's Alright’ highlights the versatility Posty has always possessed, with his now-signature vibrato and reverb combination being used to enhance the emotional vulnerability of the track.
Recorded at the same Elvis tribute show during which Posty performed with Blake Shelton, this time around, he joined forces with another country veteran, Keith Urban, for a swaggering, bluesy version of the King's ‘Baby, What You Want Me To Do’.
Post Malone has always had a charisma and stage presence in spades, which coalesces charmingly with his sweet, self-effacing nature, as he demonstrates on this cover. One of the most enjoyable things about watching Posty play country music is how visibly he enjoys the experience, and as he constantly glances across at Urban and smiles, you can see he especially loved this performance. Keith Urban's comparatively softer voice perfectly compliments Post Malone's husky vocals, producing a cover the crowd can't help but sway along to.
Once again reminding fans of how well-versed he is in country's various off-shoots and sub-genres, Post Malone teamed up with bluegrass phenom, Billy Strings, for an electrifying, jaunty rendition of Johnny Cash's ‘Cocaine Blues’. Posty has a clear appreciation for the tongue-in-cheek quality that some of the best country songs carry, with the New York native bringing Cash's protagonist to life with the help of Billy Strings and his band's rip-roaring instrumentals during this performance.
Accompanied by Dwight Yoakam's band, Post Malone's choice to perform Sturgill Simpson's down-and-out foot-stomper, ‘You Can Have The Crown’, during Matthew McConaughey's ‘We're Texas’ fundraiser has proven telling for those trying to figure out which country sub-genre Posty would lean towards for his album.
In later interviews, Posty has championed Sturgill as one of his favourite artists, and in this particular cover, he brings in the fun, light-hearted chaos of the original, while still ensuring the composition and structure of the performance feels tight. Arguably, Post Malone's ‘We're Texas’ country medley was the moment people really started to sit up and realise his affinity for the genre is not merely cursory.
Donning the iconic leopard-print suit and backed by a luminous, red-tinted Christmas tree, Post Malone's festive performance of ‘(You're The) Devil in Disguise’ gave the Elvis staple a fresh, contemporary twist. Although Posty isn't afraid to introduce bounce and levity when he performs, here he offers a noticeably sultry, brooding rendition of the track, with his atmospheric vibrato being used to add gravitas. Watch until the end to see Posty's ‘rockstar’ jump into the famous Graceland pool.
This remains one of Posty most celebrated covers to date, with Brad Paisley even temporarily changing his Instagram bio to ‘I write songs for Post Malone’ in honour of the performance. As the fiddle kicks in for the witty, laugh-out-loud chorus, Posty can barely contain his jubilance as he shouts out, ‘Oh!’, before delivering a smooth, captivating rendition of the jovial hook with a playful wink to the listener.
Regardless of the big-name collaborations and sonic surprises Post Malone has up his sleeve for his debut country album, ‘Pick-Up Man’ will forever be the moment Posty announced himself to the genre. This posthumous HIXTAPE duet with the late great Joe Diffie was hard-launched during the 2023 CMA Awards, with HARDY and Morgan Wallen taking the stage for an energising take on ‘John Deere Green‘, before Post Malone sauntered onto the stage donning a trucker cap and muted orange jacket. His performance will arguably go down in CMA history in much the same way as Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake's now-iconic 2015 duet.
Although it's always tricky putting your own spin on a country classic like ‘Pick-Up Man’ - especially when the original artist is featured on the track too - Post Malone manages to pay homage to the 1994 version, while still infusing his distinctive, genre-blurring style into the song. Particularly during his live performance, the gruff, macho rasp of Posty's vocals perfectly juxtaposes the playfulness and gently self-deprecating nature of ‘Pick-Up Man’, which only enhances the hilarity.
While the other nine covers in this list allowed fans to fantasise about a country project from Post Malone, ‘Pick-Up Man’ was the song that made this dream a reality, as well as opening the floodgates for a slew of other high-profile artists’ forays into the genre.
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