Willie Nelson teams with Mariah Carey for ''I've Got a Right to Dream,'' a song for the movie ''Tennessee''
Credit: Carey: Swift /Retna; Nelson: Jackie Butler / Retna

Collaborations are old hat for country legend Willie Nelson. In his 40-year career, he’s teamed up with everyone from Julio Iglesias to Toby Keith to fellow living legends Ray Price and Merle Haggard (the trio’s album, Last of the Breed, is out today). He’s even crossed into the pop realm by joining Jessica Simpson for a remake of ”These Boots Are Made for Walkin” a couple years back. But one name we never thought we’d see next to Willie’s? Mariah Carey.

”She and I hung out and decided to do something together,” 74-year-old Nelson told us on his tour bus, following a press conference announcing the launch of his new label, Pedernales Records, and its first signing, the promising jam-band 40 Points, which features his sons Lucas and Micah. ”It’s a song called ‘I’ve Got a Right to Dream’ that’s for the movie [Tennessee]. It’s [Carey’s] complete idea and melody. I threw a few words at her, but she made everything sound great.”

According to Nelson, Carey was recording in Nashville as of last week, and shooting for Tennessee is completed, though no release date has been set. But don’t expect Carey to ditch her trademark stilettos for cowboy boots just yet. ”It’s not really [country],” says Wilson. ”It’s more Mariah.” We wouldn’t have it any other way.