Mitchell Tenpenny Reveals How His First No. 1 Nearly Landed On A Blake Shelton Album

Tenpenny says he’s thankful that Shelton didn’t up cutting this track.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

January 31, 2024

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Mitchell Tenpenny, Blake Shelton; Photos Provided

Mitchell Tenpenny earned his very first chart-topping hit on country radio in 2018 with his debut single, “Drunk Me,” and has continued to see success with the song ever since. However, he recently revealed that this milestone almost didn’t happen as the breakup anthem nearly landed in the hands of a major country superstar instead. 

Why Did Mitchell Tenpenny Decide To Release The Song Himself?

While co-hosting The Kelleigh Bannen Show on Apple Music Country alongside Jordan Davis, Tenpenny revealed Blake Shelton was close to snagging “Drunk Me” for his own record at the time. 

“It was going to be on a Blake Shelton record, and then I signed a record deal and I need songs. I need my own songs,” Tenpenny explained. “So thank God Blake ended up never putting that on a record, and we got that song back. It ended up being our first number one.”

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The Song Draws From Real-Life Experiences And Emotions

Co-penned by Tenpenny with Jordan Schmidt and Justin Wilson, “Drunk Me” first appeared on his self-titled EP and later joined the 12 tracks on 2018’s Telling All My Secrets album. The song finds the Tennessee native dishing out feelings of true honesty that stems from a real-life experience he had with trying to overcome the pain of a past breakup.

“When I was writing ‘Drunk Me,’ I wanted to be honest.  I wanted to give a perspective of something I actually dealt with. When I heard it back for the first time, it felt like it was the first thing I wanted to put out,” Tenpenny told his record label, Sony Music Nashville, back in 2018. 

Sonically, the tune offers a wide variety of genres from country to rock and even a bit of blues, but more than anything, its laced with authenticity. His pleading vocals illustrate the struggle of someone who’s not able to get past the pain of an ex because every time he drinks, their memories resurface in his mind. So in order to overcome this toxic cycle, he decides to get sober.

Mitchell Tenpenny; Photo by Matthew Berinato
Mitchell Tenpenny; Photo by Matthew Berinato

“Some people don’t know when to quit and that’s why they quit/ Some need to hit the bottom to see they got a problem, they can’t handle it/ But that ain’t why I started cleanin’ up my life/ Wish it was but ooh that would be a lie,” he delivers in the opening verse. 

As the chorus hits, Tenpenny’s plead for mercy intensifies as he sings, “I’ve been sober/ ‘Cause there ain’t no hangover like you, girl/ No, no, no/ Baby, can you come over?/ I always find those words at the bottom of a hundred proof/ Yeah, girl, every time you do/ I just end up head all messed up/ Like the sheets where we made love/ I’ve been sober since you broke my heart in two.”

The Trend Of Breakup Anthems Continues

To this day, he still draws from personal experiences in order to give fans as much raw honesty as he can in hopes that someone else might be able to relate. 

Since the release of “Drunk Me,” Tenpenny’s career has soared to new heights with his many breakup anthems that have followed, including “Bigger Mistakes,” “Truth About You,” “We Got History” and his latest, “Breaking My Heart.”

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Penned by Tenpenny with Ashley Gorley, Chase McGill, and Jordan Schmidt, “Breaking My Heart” is the first of more new music to be released from the country star in 2024. It comes hot on the heels of his Top 10 radio smash “We Got History.”

Hitting The Road In 2024

Mitchell Tenpenny has been tapped to join Luke Combs and Jordan Davis as a special guest on each of their 2024 headline tours. Combs’ Growin’ Up and Getting’ Old Tour begins April 12 in Milwaukee, WI while Davis is set to launch his extended Damn Good Time World Tour on February 2 in Copenhagen, DK.

Mitchell Tenpenny; Photo by Chelsea Rochelle
Mitchell Tenpenny; Photo by Chelsea Rochelle

Plus, Tenpenny will have plenty of his own headline dates throughout the year. 

To see where Mitchell Tenpenny will be performing next, visit his official website HERE

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.