Before Blake Shelton heard "God's Country," he had already resigned himself to the fact that his best days, at least in country music, might be behind him. But after hearing the anthemic song, Shelton not only decided he wanted to head back to the studio, recording songs for his latest Fully Loaded: God's Country album, but also decided he would never find himself bidding farewell to a career he loved.
"[The album] re-energized me and reminded me I'm still a country singer first," Shelton said, via Fox News. "There's a whole new generation coming up and they're all great and I love them, so you start feeling like, 'Oh, I got to make room for those guys.'
"So, to have something like 'God's Country'... I won't [stop making music]," he added. "If I have to sing for tips somewhere, I'm going to do it."
Shelton was working on his ranch in Oklahoma when his producer, Scott Hendricks, sent him "God's Country."
"I was grounding up some trees and I felt so manly, then that song came on and it was like, 'Oh my God, what is this song?'" Shelton recalled. "It had this weird blend of rock and country and I didn't know what it was going to do for everybody, I just knew what it did for me."
Shelton found out while on The Kelly Clarkson Show that "God's Country" had been certified double-platinum, for sales in excess of two million units. The song is also nominated for a Grammy, for Best Country Solo Performance. Although Shelton couldn't have predicted it at first, "God's Country" seems poised to be the biggest song of his career.
"You never know until a couple years later, when you get past it, and look back, but it's gotta be," Shelton acknowledged to Kelly Clarkson. "That was a big record. And for me to get nominated for a Grammy, they hate me at the Grammys, so for them to be like, 'Oh my God, just nominate him, just put him in there. It's fine."
"God's Country" also earned Shelton a CMA Award, for Single of the Year. The song also was nominated for Song of the Year at the CMA Awards, with Luke Combs taking home that trophy, for "Beautiful Crazy." Shelton is back at radio with "Hell Right," a duet with Trace Adkins. The song is currently in the Top 20.
Photo Credit: Getty / Kevin Winter