Chris Young's grandmother would have loved his new It Must Be Christmas album. The singer shares that she died recently, and he'll be missing her this holiday season. There's one song in particular she would have really enjoyed.

"The one with Brad (Paisley)," Young tells Taste of Country. "'The First Noel' just turned out so beautifully on this record. I couldn't have asked more from a collaboration with Brad."

Young admits that his grandmother is the first loved one he's spent many Christmases with who suddenly won't be there. It's going to sting a little.

"I think that all those memories that she gave me and my sister and my family ... are just special," he explains. "She'll be missed, but she'll be remembered."

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The Paisley duet is one of three collaborations on It Must Be Christmas, available Oct. 14. Young also teams up with Boyz II Men and Alan Jackson. He says his grandmother loved the classics, and his new album is full of them. Of the 10 songs there are eight well-known Christmas classics that Young stays true to.For him it's about capturing the magic of the season and recalling some of those treasured memories. The challenge is finding a way to still put his stamp on the music.

"When you start digging into something like 'The Christmas Song,' how do you kinda let it have its own space but also make it your own," he says. "I think the biggest thing with me is this is a country Christmas record. When I start singing on something it's gonna lean country immediately."

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