Tori Kelly Teams Up With Cory Asbury on 'Reckless Love': Exclusive

Benjo Arwas
Tori Kelly

More than two years after its initial release, Cory Asbury’s chart-topping, Dove Award-winning hit “Reckless Love” is about to get a second wind thanks to a new rendition featuring Grammy Award winner Tori Kelly, Billboard has learned exclusively.

The new music drops Friday and Asbury has a new devotional book, also titled Reckless Love, which published Tuesday. The idea for the new recording came as he was brainstorming ways to revive the song around the book release. “We were sitting around the dinner table with a couple of friends thinking of ways to get ‘Reckless Love’ before people’s eyes again, even though I know a lot of churches are still singing it,” he says of the popular worship anthem. “We were like, ‘What if we did a really cool revamped version with someone that is just incredible?’”

Kelly immediately came to mind. Asbury met her at an awards show and had stayed in touch with her husband, basketball player André Murillo. When Asbury reached out to him, he admitted he had “a vocal crush” on his wife and asked about the possibility of her joining him on the song. The response was swift and positive.

“Getting to be a part of this beautiful song is so special for me. I have been a big fan of Cory’s music for a while and I have seen how his music has impacted people,” Kelly says. “I personally have had many experiences where I have cried tears of overwhelming joy while listening to ‘Reckless Love’ and it has filled my heart with a sense of gratitude. It is such an honor to be able to join Cory on this new version of one of the most powerful worship songs of this generation.”

Originally released in October 2017 via Bethel Music, “Reckless Love” was the lead single from Asbury’s sophomore album and became his first No. 1 single on Hot Christian Songs in March 2018. Penned by Asbury, Caleb Culver and Ran Jackson, “Reckless Love” won song of the year and worship song of the year at the 49th annual GMA Dove Awards in 2018. It was also nominated for the 2019 Grammy Award for best contemporary Christian music performance/song. “Reckless Love” was the No. 1 song of the year for both the Christian Airplay and Hot Christian Songs charts for 2018. It spent 68 weeks on Hot Christian Songs, 18 weeks at No. 1 and logged 55 weeks in the top 10. It spent 38 weeks on the Christian Airplay list -- 13 at No. 1.

Asbury says the song was inspired by a difficult time in his life. “Our second daughter Lily was having seizures and stopping breathing,” the father of four recalls. “She was maybe six months the first time it happened. [My wife] Anna found her, and she was blue and not breathing. We fully freaked out.”

Fortunately, Lily is now a healthy 6-year-old who hasn’t had a seizure in three years. For Asbury and everyone who hears it, the song is a reminder of God’s presence even in the toughest times.

In addition to recording for the Bethel Music Collective, Asbury is a worship pastor and artist in residence at Radiant Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He’s spent the last year on sabbatical, but is gearing up to release new music in 2020. “We’re basically trying to nail down the producer at this point, but we’ve got probably 20 songs that are finished,” he says. “So now it’s about whittling it down to 12, getting in the studio and recording it.”

But for now, he’s excited for people to hear “Reckless Love” with Kelly’s vocals. “It’s pretty amazing,” Asbury says. “Tori actually takes fully by herself verse one and chorus one and we come in together on verse two and chorus two. She takes the first half of the bridge and I take the second half and we just go nuts from there. She’s super sweet. She definitely blows me out of the water vocally, but it was fun nonetheless.”

Update: The new version of "Reckless Love” is now out; listen below.


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