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Jake Owen Pays Tribute to His Father on ‘American Love’

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Timothy Hiatt, Getty Images

If it weren’t for Jake Owen’s dad, he may have never gotten his Love Bus. Owen sat down with Taste of Country recently and shared that it was his father who taught him how to drive stick shift — a skill he later needed to drive his famed 1966 Volkswagen van.

“The first car my brother and I had together, my twin brother and I, was a Jeep Wrangler. We had to learn to drive that stick pretty quick. It was another four-speed, just like (the Love Bus) except this is a weird four speed. It’s a little bit more sticky than a modern day.”

Owen’s father went through a tough battle with cancer, and though he is now cancer-free, the artist says his song “Everybody Dies Young” reminds him of that journey.

“It rings a bell for anyone whose had someone in their family go through something traumatic and makes you realize how fragile life is,” he shares. Previously he said that his father’s battle and the birth of his daughter caused feelings that align with this song.

The 34-year-old adds that the song also reflects his mission to live each day to its fullest — a sentiment he echoes in many of his tunes.

“What I like about that song is it goes very well hand in hand with what I’ve mentioned along the lines of this album,” he says. “Every day that I’m living I try to do a few different things: number one, live it, because that’s life, and number two, be good to people, and I think that’s what that song says a lot of.”

The artist’s new record American Love is slated for release July 29 and includes the first single “American Country Love Song.”

Watch: Jake Owen Gets Real About Fatherhood

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