Willie Nelson and Karen O have tamed up to the cover the Queen and David Bowie hit “Under Pressure.”
The song also features Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner and production from TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek.
As the story goes, Karen O first reached out to Nelson to ask him to sign a letter to Congress for help to save independent music venues, according to a statement. She also added that she would love to collaborate with him on a song, not expecting him to take her up on the offer.
He said “yes” to both requests.
“At this point my mind was melting but I had to focus and pull a song out of the ether that was worthy of a living legend and spoke to the people in troubled times, not an easy assignment,” Karen O said.
“Then like a bolt out of the blue ‘Under Pressure’ came to mind,” added Karen O. “I’ve heard this song countless times without processing the gravity of what Bowie and Freddie were singing about, maybe because their performances are so exhilarating you get swept away in the high of that duet.”
Karen O continued, stating the cover “was meant to be more intimate but just as saturated with the power of love.”
“I can’t listen to this song without tearing up every time Willie comes in, one of the purest voices which of course reflects a pure heart, and I get to sing alongside it,” she said. “I never knew if it was actually going to happen but you must dare to dream. I hope the song brings as much light to the listener as it has to me in dark times.”
Listen to the cover song below.