Blake Shelton might be a big celebrity these days, but he is an even bigger Garth Brooks fan. So when Shelton found out, via his manager, that Brooks wanted to ask him to sing on his new song, "Dive Bar," with him, Shelton knew what his answer would be before he even heard the song.
"I just sat around and waited," Shelton recalled to The Tennessean. "He said, 'I've got this song I wrote. I wanted to see if I could send it over to you and you tell me what you think about it.' It was kind of like that."
"I said, 'If you're asking me to sing a duet with you … I'm going to tell you right now even without hearing the song; I'm apt to say, 'Hell yes, I'll do it,' " Shelton recounted. "He laughed and said, 'You should at least hear the song.'"
Brooks sent "Dive Bar" to Shelton, who was quickly reminded why he loved everything about Brooks.
"He just tapped back into that mid-'90s stuff when I was deciding I wanted to be a country singer and all I could imagine was being the next Garth Brooks," Shelton said. "He didn't need me on this, but I'm not going to tell him that."
A few weeks later, Shelton met Brooks in a Nashville studio to record "Dive Bar," where Shelton quickly became a student of the global superstar.
"You're the reason I moved to town," Shelton told Brooks. "You might as well tell me how to sing it."
Brooks had very little to offer Shelton by way of critique, except one thing.
"I want to hear your smile," Brooks encouraged, adding to the engineer, "This guy could not be more Oklahoma."
Brooks previously praised Shelton and his contribution to "Dive Bar," which will appear on Brooks' next album.
"He was fun," Brooks boasted to Entertainment Tonight. "He came to the studio and just did a good old summertime anthem. It's called 'Dive Bar' and it just talks about spending your summers in the dive bars across America, and it's going to be fun."
Brooks is such a fan of "Dive Bar" that he named a tour after the song, taking him to smaller venues instead of the big stadiums he is also hitting over the next couple years.
"Wouldn't that be the most fun thing on the planet? Now that would be fun," Brooks hinted to PopCulture.com last year exclusively. "Talk about completing the circle. Because when we played [Nashville bar] Layla's, everything just came back to the circle. Everything was centered on it. And I so enjoyed it. And this music was built for honky tonks."
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