Cassadee Pope on Fans Who Insist She's Dating Duet Partner Chris Young: 'Let Them Think Whatever'

Cassadee Pope
Sara Kauss/FilmMagic

Cassadee Pope attends the 2016 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 8, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn.

Cassadee Pope and Chris Young recently had the experience of watching their duet, "Think Of You," top the Billboard Country Airplay chart. Though Pope is very open about her personal life and the fact that she has a boyfriend, she's a little confused by some people's reaction to the song, especially when the two perform it live.

"It's so funny. We've said a million times that we're not dating, but the fans still like to think so, so we let them think whatever -- if it makes for a good experience in seeing us live," she says. "We are just having fun on stage, and try not to take it too seriously. Obviously, the song is from that tough place that couples go through when they break up. They have to start this life apart, and they have a lot of the same friends. It is a very relatable subject line and a heartbreaking song, but it's also lighthearted, because it's life -- and that's what we go through and what we have to deal with.

"From the first time we did it live, we realized we had great chemistry together on stage, so we just went with it. If the fans think that, then we're doing it right."

Pope is currently lending her talents to a series of benefit concerts called Band Against Cancer: The Sarah Cannon Tour. With three dates in the books and two (Oct. 8 in Denver and Oct. 26 in Nashville) to come, she says it's been an experience she will never forget. "That was really an amazing opportunity for me. I had a friend of mine who passed away last year because of Hodgkin's lymphoma. I got the call to be involved in Band Against Cancer, and I automatically wanted to do it," she said.

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"Then I found out that Martina McBride was on it, and I'm such a huge fan and have covered her music for so long. So there were just all of these opportunities rolled up into one."

Pope says that having an up-close-and-personal look at how McBride conducts her business has been an education for her. "Her songs are so hard to sing, and she's always been known for her hard, belting voice. That's how I learned to sing – by following her example. Getting to see her live show, and doing all of these songs in person after all these years -- and executing them as beautiful as ever -- has been so impressive. Her show is just hit after hit, so it's been cool to sit in front of the stage and take notes, and absorb everything I'm experiencing. Her technique is so amazing."

Pope says the stories from cancer patients she's met on tour have affected her deeply. "I met a woman who was about a week and a half away from her last chemo treatment. She was rocking, and had the IV in her arm, and was telling me how excited she was to have it coming out next week. She was just so positive about something that is so horrifying: to hear that you have cancer and that you have to go through all these treatments. It's such a scary time, and I remember having a friend who went through all of that. I got to see first-hand what an effect it can have on somebody, and seeing this woman in such great spirits just gave me hope. And meeting so many people who were in remission or fought it in the past and survived, it's just such a rewarding thing to see what donations, these amazing doctors, and research can do."

The singer, who initially gained her following on NBC's The Voice, recently released a new EP, Summer. "The EP is something that I've held so dear to my heart, because I was there the whole time recording it, but also writing the songs, and I feel like a co-producer with Corey Crowder. I just feel like it was very much a hands-on experience for me. Working on the first album with Dann Huff was great, but I was really able to be there for everything on the EP, whereas I was running around on the album, doing a radio tour at the same time. Being able to perform these songs live has made me so happy."



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