The story of Lawson Bates’ song “Crazy Love” is already a complex one.

The sweet sentiments that fill the sonically diverse song were first featured on his family’s reality show Bringing up Bates, as Bates sang "Crazy Love" at one of his sisters' weddings. But then, the song sat on the shelf for a few years, as Bates contemplated what to do with it next.

“I wanted it to have that lighthearted vibe sonically, but lyrically, I still wanted it to have a lot of depth,” the singer-songwriter says of the song, whose lyric video debuts on Taste of Country on Tuesday (March 15). “And I had always wanted it to be a duet. Now, at the time, I had no idea that I was going to meet Tiffany.”

"Tiffany" is actress Tiffany Espensen, who not only serves as Bates' duet partner on “Crazy Love,” but is also now his fiancée.  The two got engaged in Italy in October of 2021, and they will wed later in 2022.

“We had been in a serious relationship for a while before I even realized that Tiffany had such a beautiful voice,” remembers Bates, who grew up in rural East Tennessee. “I think we were singing gospel songs or hymns with just a classical guitar. It was then that I knew she would be perfect on this song.”

However, Espensen did need a little convincing.

“We did have to do a little arm twisting when we got into the studio in Nashville,” Bates says with a laugh. “But once we were done, I think everybody was feeling proud and excited. I think we knocked all her vocals out and the harmonies and such in just a couple hours. She's acted in so many shows and movies, but a lot of people don't realize what a talented singer she is. She has a beautiful voice, but she doesn't use it as much as she should.”

Adding his true love’s voice to “Crazy Love” was a gut instinct for Bates, who says he has always let his gut lead him on this musical journey that began when he was just a kid — a journey that has now led him to Nashville.

“I have learned so much over the past few years just from sitting in sessions and spending time in the studio,” explains Bates, who had a hand in writing all 12 of the tracks currently featured on his debut country album, American Dream. “I’m blessed to have really good people working alongside of me.”

And one of those people is Espensen.

“This is a girl that encourages and inspires me,” Bates gushes. “She's hard-working and is dedicated to a lot of the same things I'm passionate about.”

It’s this passion that these two seem to put into everything they do, including their upcoming wedding. However, Bates is the first to admit that while he may be a great singer-songwriter, he doesn't consider himself the best of wedding planners.

“I told Tiffany when all the wedding planning first started that she just needed to tell me where I can help, because I don't have the first clue about what's cool and what's not,” says Bates, who has already written a song for his future wife that he plans to perform at their wedding. “I am kind of a scatterbrain when it comes to that stuff.”

He laughs.

“She's already got it all mapped out,” Bates continues about what he says will be "a simple ceremony" in San Diego in May. “All I care about is her. As long as I get to marry her at the end of the day, I’m happy.”

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