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During a March 29 appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Breland was surprised by Clarkson with the platinum plaque marking the million-selling success of his 2020-released single “My Truck.”

“[This is] for selling one million copies of ’My Truck,’ which is hard to do right now, y’all!” Clarkson exclaimed. “That’s incredible. I’m so proud of you, man. I can’t wait to see what you do with your career.”

“You made me cry, Kelly,” responded an astounded Breland. “I’ve got real tears.”

Breland’s rise from TikTok stardom to mainstream country singer-songwriter success is one of the genre’s feel-good stories of the pandemic. The Atlanta-based singer-songwriter self-released the song via social media, and fan response led to him earning an artist deal with Bad Realm/Atlantic Records.

This month, Breland released a remix of “Cross Country,” featuring emerging country superstar Mickey Guyton. This method mirrored how, after releasing “My Truck,” he similarly remixed it as a collaboration with Sam Hunt.

Following his performance of “Cross Country” on Clarkson’s talk program, she remarked about how impressed she was by how well Breland blends musical genres. “It’s not one genre. It’s country, it’s R&B, it’s a little bit rap, almost like Ed Sheeran, how he raps and sings at the same time, and it’s pop. Did you grow up loving everything?”

“I grew up loving everything. I grew up primarily listening to gospel because my parents are both ministers,” Breland responded. “But once I got into all the other genres, I was kind of just like, ’Okay, there’s so much out there.’ That’s how ’Cross Country’ was born. It’s actually the intersection of country music and all the other genres.”