Jake Owen Feels a 'Responsibility' With 'Real Country' TV Show

Jake Owen is joining Shania Twain and Travis Tritt in serving as panelists on the upcoming reality TV talent show, Real Country. The opportunity to be part of the series, which offers contestants the chance to perform in front of industry executives, came at a particularly hectic time in Owen's life and career, but he felt like it was one he couldn't turn down.

"I am busy, but country music's important to me," Owen told PopCulture.com. "It always has been. That's why I wanted to be a part of it. And now that I am a part of it, I feel I have a responsibility to the format in general to do what I can with my own music, but also help elevate the format. By giving awareness to these guys and girls that are so talented on the show, that's exactly not only what I'm doing, but I feel like Shania's doing and Travis is doing, and we're all happy to be doing this together."

Owen was also honored to join Twain and Tritt in being a part of the innovative show.

"I think we all individually represent different obviously eras of country music," Owen said. "We all have a different feel. Country music has been based upon tradition, but tradition is ever changing. Travis is a guy that has a lot of respect and admiration for the Waylon Jennings of the world and the Hank William Jrs., as do I. But I also grew up where I admire guys like Travis and Alan Jackson and Brooks & Dunn, and now I am here in current country music and supporting all the guys and girls that are doing what they're doing right now."

"Shania comes from a point where she is promoting the side of country music at the time where it wasn't necessarily the countriest of things," he continued. "So we all come from different backgrounds, bringing what we know. We don't have all the answers, but I feel like it's a great eclectic mix that helps these artists that are here learn a little bit from each one of us, because none of us have the answers individually. It's a collective answer that we try to give."

Participating in Real Country in many ways became a way for Owen to pay forward all that he has received over the last several years.

"I'm not here because I got here on my own," insisted Owen. "I have a record deal. I have great management. I have fans. And everyone of those people individually with me and at the end of the day, it's about not the number ones you have, the awards you win. It's about the legacy you leave behind and what people say about you. I'll hang my hat on the fact that I've always strived to do the right thing.

"Even though I'm not always been right, I've strived to do the right thing," he added. "I'll love to hang my hat on the fact that I was able in someone's life to help them the way they helped me."

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Real Country will premiere on the USA Network at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo Credit: Getty images/Kevin Winter