Shelton handles vocals on the track, with the country superstar delivering a distinctive twang to Petty’s famous lyrics. Walsh handles the song’s guitar part, including a typically rousing solo midway through the track. Meanwhile, Sorum and Schmit serve as the rhythm section, providing a study foundation for the cover’s touching tones.
The rendition was recorded to support The Miraculous Love Kids, a non-profit organization founded by American musician Lanny Cordola. The group’s mission is “to teach the guitar to war-torn, poverty-stricken children, in particular young girls who have little to no rights and are often forced into marriage and face the most extreme forms of violence.”
“In ‘I Won’t Back Down,’ Tom Petty so powerfully wrote, ‘You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down.’ The girls and I are honored to have Blake, Joe, Timothy and Matt join us in spreading this message far and wide,” Cordola said via a statement.
Originally released in 1989, “I Won’t Back Down” was the lead single from Petty’s solo album Full Moon Fever. The song became a hit, reaching No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and quickly establishing itself as one of Petty’s most beloved tracks.
The new cover of “I Won’t Back Down” is exclusively available to stream at goodnoise.io, a music and arts platform launched by Sorum to encourage “social and environmental change.”
Tom Petty Albums Ranked
He’s a rock ‘n’ roll rarity: an artist who was consistent until the very end.