Hailey Whitters enlists fellow singer-songwriter Jordan Davis for "The Ride," one of five new duets included on her just-announced Living the Dream project, a deluxe edition of her 2020 album The Dream.

"The Ride" shares the importance of keeping things in perspective, even during difficult times, pointing out that it's life's low points that make the highlights so sweet. That's a lesson that both Whitters and Davis have lived in real time, together: As songwriters who spent their early days running in the same Music City circles, they got to know each other when they were still trying to prove themselves. Then, once Davis had started to see some mainstream success as an artist, he used that traction to give Whitters a spot in front of his audience.

"Jordan Davis took me out on his very first headlining tour when I was only an independent artist. I thought that was a very bold statement to make, and I am very appreciate of him taking a chance on me," Whitters relates. "He's one of the key reasons I've been able to say I'm 'living the dream,' so when thinking about who to collaborate with on this project, he was a no-brainer. I just love his voice and everything he's bringing to the country format."

"The Ride" is the 17th and final track on Living the Dream. Each of its new duets is with an act that's been a key supporter of Whitters' career. "All of the artists featured on this project are responsible for me being able to hang up the apron strings and make music full time," the singer reflects.

One already-released example is "Fillin' My Cup," a duet with Little Big Town. Whitters and the country quartet have plenty of history, as she co-wrote "Happy People," which is the first track on Little Big Town's 2017 album, The Breaker. The up-and-coming singer record her own version of the song last year, but she says the royalties from Little Big Town's "Happy People" helped pay for her to create The Dream.

"Brent Cobb and Jordan Davis were two of the first artists to take me on tour," she continues, listing the ways in which her other duet partners have helped her along her musical journey. "Lori McKenna and Hillary Lindsey are my two songwriting idols and favorite co-creators, and Trisha Yearwood is one of the first artists that got me excited about moving to Nashville and pursuing country music."

Her deluxe album, Whitters goes on to say, is a way of showcasing what her fully realized dream of making music looks like, now that it's come to life.

"I wanted to show fans full circle what 'living the dream' looks like for me -- from where I started with "Ten Year Town" to the bucket-list moments that have resulted since I released my record, The Dream," she continues. "I felt it was important to show them what can happen when you don't give up on yourself."

Living the Dream is due for release on Feb. 26.

17 Songs From Women in Country That Demand Your Attention:

More From AM 950 KOEL