Danielle Bradbery lost her dear grandmother just over eight years ago. But to this day, the country singer finds herself surrounded by reminders of her spirit — from the tattoos she sees in the mirror, to the sound of her grandmother’s voice in her head, which, thankfully, has never left her.
“I remember her voice like she was here talking yesterday,” Bradbery shares. “It’s ingrained in me.”
It’s that voice — that woman — who directly inspired Bradbery to record a Spanish version of her addictive hit “Never Have I Ever.” Her grandmother, Gloria Avila Redden, was born in Guanajuato, Mexico, and made her living as a female entrepreneur who owned a number of Mexican restaurants in Texas.
“I called her my Chita, and it was she that I channeled while I was recording this song,” the country singer explains of this new version, “Never Have I Ever” (“Yo Nunca He …).”
“I needed to remember how she pronounced things, so I definitely had her on my mind the whole time,” she says. “I certainly hope I’m making her proud right now.”
Redden loved music — a trait that was clearly passed to her granddaughter, who won Season 4 of The Voice in 2013 when she was just 16 years old.
“My grandma would always have Latin music on and she would sing to us in Spanish,” Bradbery recalls. “It was just always around. I knew I loved it from the start. I would sing along with stuff and knew how to say things.”
When her grandmother passed in 2012, Bradbery says she wondered if she would ever truly remember the language that the matriarch of the family lovingly taught her. That uncertainty certainly came into play when Bradbery and her team made the decision to revisit “Never Have I Ever” in a whole new way.
“I really wanted to make sure I was pronouncing every word correctly,” she admits with a chuckle. Bradbery worked directly with renowned Latin producers Andres and Mauricio, who contributed to the massive lingual crossover hit “Despacito.”
“It’s just cool that we went and took an existing single of mine and transformed it into a brand new song,” Bradbery says. “I’m looking forward to seeing where that song can now go and stretch to.”
Joining Bradbery on the Spanish version of the song is Kurt, a Latin Grammy-nominated artist who immediately impressed the country singer.
“What was really special about Kurt is that he is very into romantic and soulful music and really deep and honest lyrics,” she says. “His voice is very powerful, but soft and unique. He was able to put his own twist on the song, and it turned out more perfect than I ever thought it would be.”
With this new version of “Never Have I Ever,” Bradbery finds herself entering a new genre that maybe she inherently belonged in in the first place. But make no mistake: country remains her home, musically speaking.
“This song just brings a whole new side of me into country music,” she concludes. “I do have a little bit of a Latin following and it’s super cool and exciting to reach those people as well, while at the same time, sharing another part of me that means a lot to me with my fans.”
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