If there’s one similarity between Country music and R&B, it’s that both genres musically express life’s ups and downs. Ne-Yo and country vet Tim McGraw are the latest artists to extend an arm across the rigid genre borders of R&B and country. The singers joined forces at a pre-Country Music Awards event on Wednesday (Oct. 31) to perform together two duets witnessed by a small crowd. Both performers welcome musical bipartisanship with open arms. McGraw has collaborated with what seemed like an unlikely match back in 2004 with rapper Nelly on the song “Over and Over, and Ne-Yo says he feels a strong connection to Nashville.” For me, I feel like in another life, I might’ve been a country artist,” he told The Huffington Post.

The Motown senior vice president of A&R feels right at home. “Faith Hill [McGraw’s wife] actually made me fried chicken,” Ne-Yo said, mentioning the laid-back vibe of the songwriting session was the best he’s ever had in his life. “It was me, Tim and a guy with a guitar in the living room as the kids ran around,” NeYo described, stating the whole experience is something he looks forward to in the future. “I met a lot of very important people in there. I met Tim’s management and the Big Machine people, and just expect to see some more of this cross-pollination happening.”

Who says Country and R&B music can’t mesh?