Back in 2015, Jonathan Hay recreated the country music classic “Don’t Close Your Eyes” from the late Keith Whitley… but made it hip-hop. Hay premiered the song with Billboard on what would have been Whitley’s 60th birthday. A year later, Hay reworked the song, this time adding a diss to Afrika Bambaattaa that help make the song go viral. DJ Booth wrote an amazing story on the song that you can read by clicking here.
This year, Hay’s version was mentioned in American Songwriter Magazine helping it regain some national exposure. Read an excerpt from the article:
Thirty years after his death, Whitley is the subject of Still Rings True: The Enduring Voice of Keith Whitley, a new exhibit that opens next month at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of his death and the Hall of Fame presentation, stars like Garth Brooks and Tracy Lawrence will perform at a memorial concert for Whitley next month in Nashville as well. And it’s a pretty sure bet that someone will sing “Don’t Close Your Eyes.”