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Steven Tyler goes a little bit country on TODAY plaza, shares a 'Piece of My Heart'

He's been leading a rock 'n' roll charge for decades now as Aerosmith's frontman, but with his new record, Tyler is trying something new.
/ Source: TODAY

If you know just a few things about Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, it's this: He's from Boston (like his band), and he's been the charismatic, scarf-waving emblem of the power rock group since 1970. But Tyler loves to "Dream On" — and he's making a change.

The 68-year-old been living in Nashville for more than a year, writing with local songwriters and is now ready to reveal that while he's still a little bit rock 'n' roll, he's also a little bit country!

He's releasing a new solo album of country tunes, "We're All Somebody from Somewhere," on July 15 and heading out on the road starting July 2. On Friday he stopped by the TODAY plaza to give us a preview — plus make sure we got our daily Aerosmith requirement satisfied: he played the band's 1993 hit "Cryin'," plus the title track from his album, and a blistering cover Big Brother and the Holding Company's 1968 hit "Piece of My Heart."

But as he told TODAY's Matt Lauer inside the studio before his performance (and after being accompanied to his seat flanked by two lovely NBC pages), he's not a complete stranger to country music. "'Cryin''?" he asked. "That's country ... It wasn't a stretch."

Tyler also chatted with Lauer outside on stage, and noted that he was super-casual about his trip over to the plaza this morning:

Fans, of course, "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" so they got to the stage nice and early:

Tyler gave them a few minutes of his time, taking selfies ...

... and signing foreheads!

At home, Tyler won over the next generation with his performance, as one fan revealed:

He also had pets barking for more:

MORE: Steven Tyler belts personal voicemail message for fan's phone

Including at least one who wanted to spend her milestone birthday with him:

What makes for a perfect country song? "They say, 'three chords and the truth,'" quipped Tyler. "The truth being a dog or my love — and there's always a good twist."

We couldn't agree more!

So if you don't want to end up "Cryin'" that you missed it all, be sure to check back here through the morning for videos, pictures and interviews with Mr. Tyler! And if you have a picture to share, be sure to tweet it with #StevenTylerTODAY so we can make sure we see it!

Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.