Tenille Townes and Friends Come Together for ‘Lean on Me’

Abby Anderson, Kassi Ashton, Keelan Donovan, Alex Hall, Adam Hambrick and Caylee Hammack join for the spirit-lifting classic.

Written by Chris Parton
Tenille Townes and Friends Come Together for ‘Lean on Me’
Alex Hall, Tenille Townes, Adam Hambrick, Kassi Ashton, Keelan Donovan, Caylee Hammack and Abby Anderson; Photo via YouTube

Like most artists, Tenille Townes is stuck at home and feeling the weight of a world in turmoil over the COVID-19 pandemic. So she turned to an old friend — music — and some new friends — her fellow artists — to cope.

Teaming up with fellow newcomers Abby Anderson, Kassi Ashton, Keelan Donovan, Alex Hall, Adam Hambrick and Caylee Hammack, Townes leads an all-hands-on-deck run through the classic “Lean on Me,” sending out some much needed positive vibes. The Bill Withers classic has always had the power to brighten dark days, and given the circumstances, there seems like no better choice for Townes’ stars-in-the-making collab.

“These crazy times right now make me so grateful for my friends, for music, and the way we are still all connected,” she says of the project. “It brought me so much joy hearing everybody’s voices come together on this song, and it’s my hope that it brings people a little joy and comfort out there when they hear it. We really all do need somebody to lean on, especially right now. It was really fun to sing this song together across the distance!”

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I don’t feel like I have the right words for anything right now… but I’m searching. My heart is heavy. Like a light switch, I flicker from one fragile feeling to the next. Gratitude, anxiety, hope, heartache. All at the same time. It’s scary thinking about so many people sick and hurting right now, people fighting on the front lines, and people isolated and struggling out there, but I can feel us persisting and still reaching for one another. That part is beautiful. The world seems small right now. And dark. But I won’t stop turning to the sun and soaking in all the light, breaking through the cracks, that I possibly can. And believing we are all spinning on this planet in the palm of loving hands. I miss you guys out there. I miss packing my suitcase, and the sound of the road under the van tires, playing catchphrase with my band as we make our way to be together with you, to sing you some songs. I miss seeing you smile from the stage and hugging you after, hearing fragments of your stories in person that always fill my heart up with hope and make me feel like we’ve got each other. This stillness is hard, but I know even in this time we’ve got each other and I can’t wait to be back together in person when we can. Until then I’ll be walking, reading, calling my loved ones, very thankfully eating @katiemcc14’s delicious cooking, watching Friends, doing my best to write you some songs and sending you so much love. Please keep reaching for each other in all the ways we can right now. Because that part really is beautiful. 💛

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Check out the spirit-lifting clip above, spliced together as the seven artists sing their parts from home while practicing social distancing.