Tanya Tucker marks another pivotal chapter in her history-making career with the release of her powerful new single, “Ready as I’ll Never Be.”

The track, which plays during the end credits of her Sony Pictures documentary The Return of Tanya Tucker, finds the accomplished 64-year-old reflecting on the path she’s taken and all the successes and missteps that led her to where she is today.

Tucker co-wrote “Ready as I’ll Never Be” with close friend and creative collaborator Brandi Carlile, who also produced the single alongside Shooter Jennings. Carlile performs piano on the song and joins her longtime bandmates, Phil and Tim Hanseroth, on backing vocals. Driven forward by dreamy pedal steel from John Schreffler Jr. and sparce, intricate percussion by Matt Chamberlain, the song highlights the deep emotive power of Tucker’s vocal performance as she tries to embrace the past and what still lies ahead.

“So gather around him, It’s time to sing / It’s bittersweet but it’s a hell of a silver lining,” Tucker sings softly. “I tell the same ol’ stories, ya’ll get your wings / And I get better every time I kiss a weathered cheek / And watch them doves fly sooner than me / I guess I’m ready or ready as I’ll never be.”

The Return of Tanya Tucker opens Friday (Oct. 21) in New York and Los Angeles ahead of its nationwide release on Nov. 4. Directed by Kathlyn Horan, the film gives fans new insight into the country star’s intensive and transformative creative process while making her celebrated 2019 comeback record, While I’m Livin’, in collaboration with Carlile and Jennings.

Viewers will also get a look at rarely-seen archival footage and photographs from throughout Tucker’s life, from her humble beginnings while growing up in Seminole, Texas, to the highs and lows of her country music career through the ’80s and ’90s.

50 Classic Country Artists Today’s Fans Should Know

Today’s country music stars owe a debt of gratitude to the legends who formed and cultivated the genre, starting in the early 20th century. These 50 classic country artists remain relevant today. Some developed a style that’s emulated on today’s country radio. Others set a bar for vocal talent or songwriting skill.

This list of 50 influential classic country artists features country music singers who started their careers before 1990. It’s ranked by each artist’s current influence on the country music format today, not individual, lifelong impact. Tell us where we got it right or wrong on Twitter.
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