David Bowie Gets A Country Music Writing Credit Thanks To Chris Young’s New Single “Young Love & Saturday Nights”

David Bowie
Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns via Getty Images

Seems like going back to the past to help create a modern day country hit is working out pretty well for country artists lately.

Luke Combs finally decided to release a cover version of “Fast Car,” which was originally released by Tracy Chapman back in 1988. The success of the cover led Chapman to be the first black woman to top country charts as a sole writer, and led to some very cool interactions between Combs and Chapman, despite the controversy that surrounded Combs’ version.

And now, Chris Young has borrowed the guitar riff from David Bowie’s 1974 classic rock hit “Rebel Rebel,” giving Bowie his first ever country music writing credit. If you listen to Young’s new single “Young Love & Saturday Nights,” the beginning and the chorus of the song will certainly sound familiar, even if you don’t consider yourself a fan of Bowie’s work.

The “Ziggy Stardust” singer earns the country music writing credit posthumously, with the once-in-a-lifetime artist passing away back in 2016.

Bowie was famously known for melting together different genres in a rocking, musical fondue, but the one style of music that he never delved into (and even arguably disliked) was country music.

Bowie told NPR in a 2002 interview about his musical upbringing:

“I think the only music I didn’t listen to was country and western, and that holds to this day.

It’s much easier for me to say that, the kind of music I didn’t listen to was pretty much that. I mean everything, from jazz to classical to popular.”

So if David Bowie wasn’t necessarily “warm” to country music, how is it that a recognizable riff from one of his most famous songs made its way into the genre?

Warner Chappell Music actually bought the rights to Bowie’s extensive musical catalogue in 2022, gaining access to his more than 400 songs, with one of course being “Rebel Rebel.” Songwriter Jesse Frasure was given the task by Ben Vaughn, the president and CEO of Warner Chappell Music, to creatively craft a country song utilizing something from Bowie’s discography.

Frasure eventually and happily worked out an interpolation (using a melody or rhythm from a previous song), and the demo of the tune caught the attention of country music artist Chris Young.

Interpolations often give songs and artists a “second life,” and allow modern musicians to tip their cap to the past while bringing the older songs into the future to be discovered by a new generation of listeners. Young, who mostly writes his own music, was ecstatic to be able jump on the opportunity and bring Bowie into the country music genre.

The country artist spoke to the Associated Press about “Young Love & Saturday Nights” and how much of an honor it was to have Bowie credited as a writer on one of his songs:

“When I first heard this song, I immediately connected with the groove and the lyrics with nods to so many things I can personally relate to.

It made me think back to when I first got started playing country dive bars and it was the same kind of thing. I drove a beat-up truck to and from gigs where I played music hoping the audiences would relate… and if I’m being honest, hoping the girls would like it too.

Young love and Saturday nights are things that just go together and this feels like one of those big summer songs where you just want to roll the windows down, crank up the volume, and just drive around to it.”

Bowie fans can now rejoice (hopefully… ok, maybe not) as the familiar guitar lick from “Rebel Rebel” is born again with the new Chris Young single.

Take a listen:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock