During his chat, he candidly spoke about his career and admitted that he wasn’t feeling so hot about things last year around this time. In fact, he thought the end of his career might have been on the horizon when his singles seemed to stop flying to the top of the charts.
“Last year, I had a song out called ‘Turnin’ Me On.’ It was the single we had out at radio about this time. It was struggling,” Shelton shared. “Each single from that album, we had ‘I’ll Name the Dogs,’ and then ‘I Lived It,’ which did pretty good, but it wasn’t a number one hit by any means or anything. It just did okay. And then ‘Turnin’ Me On’ did just not even as good as that one. It struggled a little bit, especially for me having been on a roll at radio.”
Watching the charts got Shelton thinking about his future in country music.
“It was like, ‘oh shit,'” he confessed. “We knew this would happen eventually. I’m not the new guy anymore. We’re starting to see this happen. It’s like damn it, ya know?”
“You always wonder what that would feel like when that starts slipping away a little bit,” he continued. “I think about that stuff a lot and I always wonder like, ‘how am I gonna feel when this kind of goes away and we’re not that hot anymore in the industry?’
Surprisingly, Shelton said he was “kind of okay with it.”
“I was like, ‘God, I got a lot more out of this than I thought I would,'” he explained. “I was like having that kind of pity party.”
What happened next would change his life. While mulching his Oklahoma property, Shelton listened to a few demos his longtime producer, Scott Hendricks, sent him. That’s when he first heard “God’s Country.”
“I’ll be damned the first song that I played was “God’s Country” and it was Hardy singing the demo. I just, I mean I literally just couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” he said. “It was just like an awakening. It was like it reenergized me.”
That’s when he realized, “No, I don’t want to be done with this. I wanna keep making records.”
After “God’s Country” took home the title of CMA Single of the Year, it went on to receive a Grammy nomination for Best Country Solo Performance. Shelton says the song “turned everything around” for him. We’d have to agree.
Watch the clip above for more with Blake Shelton.