George Strait, “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven”

MCA has decided to release George Strait’s “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven” as a digital single. Originally an outtake from the Troubadour sessions, the song is already a top twenty hit for Kenny Chesney.

It’s highly unusual these days for competing versions of the same song to be released, though it was a frequent occurrence a few decades ago. So we don’t get to hear two top-tier artists tackle the same song very often. I wasn’t particularly impressed by Chesney’s version of this song, but I’m loving George Strait’s version of it.

Granted, the richness of Strait’s voice elevates the most mediocre material, but I think that Strait tapped into the humor of the song with his performance. Chesney played it straight, and the result was a less entertaining record.

Grade: A-

Listen: Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven

Buy: Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven


  1. first skip ewing, now george strait – is this some “nashville-kind-of-mobbing” situation?

    any song kenny can sing, i can do better…

    this is not a good time to blink, kenny!

  2. Tom,

    The Skip Ewing situation was because SBMG Nashville wouldn’t allow the Kenny version to be the ‘official’ single, much like Find Out Who Your Frends Are for Tracy Lawrence.

  3. thanks for the info, matt

    just when i started to appreciate kenny chesney a little, after giving our family the almost invaluable “don’t blink game”, which makes two little guys in their booster-seats looking like marty feldman and being quiet for five minutes, there comes george strait and shows what can be done, even with a fairly mediocre song.

    becoming a kenny chesney fan, surely is not a piece of cake.

  4. kenny is starting to sound very monotomise, he has this whole calypso sound in EVERY song and that isn’t country only his voice shows traces of coutry. if it weren’t for 30 something women he would not be up there with george that often.
    i used to enjoy him very much, now he is played once every 30 mins and that’s a little overboard.

  5. I just like George’s voice so much better than Kenny’s! Still not crazy about the song, but George’s version is so much better!

    Vp…my station also plays Kenny every 30 mins too and sometimes less than that! IT DOES GET OLD AND I TOLD THEM SO!

  6. I don’t love the song by either guy, but George’s is much better. I like Kenny and “want” to like his songs but he’s becoming a Jimmy Buffet-lite and I’m not digging it.

  7. I downloaded George’s version a few days ago and like it. I was totally caught off guard with the fake Jamaican accent he does at the end – don’t know what to think about that, but it was kinda weird lol.

  8. I wasn’t even aware that George did a version until a few days ago. I hadn’t heard it yet on my stations. But after listening on YouTube, I really like it. I already liked the song. But with Kenny’s it’s just a catchy little tune. George as usual puts more country into Country Music. He is and always will be the King of Country.

  9. I heard on The Wolf a sonoma county radio station about Kenny taking George’s song and releasing it. I have heard both versions and Geoge Strait does it best, he adds the country tang I like and is believable coming from him but Kenny gives it a island tune like most of his new songs and I dont believe he even goes to church much less go to heaven.

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