'Sleep Without You' Singer Brett Young Cops to Sleeping With 'The Same Blankie I've Had Since Childhood'

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Chapman Baehler
The 36-year-old Orange County native makes his Hot 100 debut with  “Sleep,” his first single.  

California native Brett Young, 36, recently made his Billboard Hot 100 debut with "Sleep Without You," his first single. In an interview with Billboard, the country singer-songwriter talks about his influences and shares a secret about his own sleeping habits.

What was it like writing "Sleep Without You”?
A write like that can go one of two ways: It can go so fast that it’s forgettable, or it can happen fast because the story is so honest. With “Sleep,” I went in with exactly what I wanted to say, and luckily I had two amazing writers in the room [Justin Ebach and Kelly Archer] who understood that.

You have cited Gavin DeGraw as a big ­influence. How did you first discover his music?
I turned on One Tree Hill, heard the opening song and went, “I got to know whose voice that is.” People call Gavin pop, but that first record [2003’s Chariot] had so much soul. My parents listened to a lot of soul music, but I’d never heard a white kid sing it like that.

Other than a girlfriend, is there anything you can’t “sleep without”?
I have the same blankie that I’ve had since childhood. It’s, like, 30 years old, but I still sleep with it every night that I’m home. I don’t take it on the road anymore because it’s on its last legs. Honestly, if I get in my bed at home and it’s bunched in the covers or something, I freak out and turn the lights on until I can find it.

This article originally appeared in the Jan. 14 issue of Billboard.


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