Scotty McCreery revealed his edgier side with his new single “Southern Belle,” and the music video has even more sass. The singer brought together Nashville's Belmont University cheerleaders and the Vanderbilt University band to help him deliver the message that there’s just something about a Southern girl that can’t be beat.

The song is a new sound for McCreery, though he has said it’s about as “far left” as he will venture with the new album. The young artist took his look to the next level in the video, ditching some of the classic country tropes for a slick ‘do and a trendy, slimmer-profiled ensemble. McCreery sells the song with a mysterious confidence, effectively closing the book on his transition from backwoods boy-next-door to a less polished, grown-up, country-rock star.

Most of the video features McCreery singing directly to the camera, with the band and cheerleaders showing off their best moves behind him. The artist let fans in on the making of the video with a special behind-the-scenes clip, noting the talent of the groups, especially the cheerleaders.

“Obviously they are pretty girls and all that, but what was really important to me was showcasing the strong aspect of those girls and their athleticism,” McCreery said of the teams. “I just wanted to showcase strong ladies and strong women and this music video was a great way to do that.”

“Southern Belle” is a high-energy celebration of the best kind of lady — one from south of the Mason-Dixon line — and it’s clear McCreery understands what that means. Written by Sean McConnell and Jason Saenz, it represents a shift in style for the artist, but still keeps his roots firmly planted. The single is the lead-off track to his upcoming third studio album, but details on the record have not yet been released.

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