He’s also back on country radio in a big way with “Came Here to Forget,” the first new music he has released in 18 months. It’s also the first new music he’s delivered since last year’s divorce from Miranda Lambert and his current, widely-publicized relationship with rock star Gwen Stefani.
“Came Here to Forget,” a track from his upcoming album, If I’m Honest, skyrocketed to No. 18 on Billboard‘s country airplay chart during its release week and sold 53,000 downloads in just three days to race to the top of iTunes’ all-genre and country charts.
During a recent conversation with CMT Hot 20 Countdown‘s Cody Alan, Shelton talked about the new album, set for release on May 20. The first question centered on the singer’s previous comments that the new project contains some of the most personal songs he’s ever recorded.
“For the first time, I had so much life happen like epic things crammed into a short period of time, you know?” he told Alan. “I had my entire life to make my first album, and then every album since then, you know, we’ve done everything we could. We worked hard on it, but there is only so much you have to draw from if things are kind of smooth sailing.
“And so the last year and a half of my life has literally blown up in my face. And that’s OK because I’m a country singer, and I least get to take all of that and put it into music.”
He’s proud of the album and pleased with the initial success of its first single.
“If there is one good thing that’s come out of some of this stuff, it’s that I’ve actually made a record that I’m super, super proud of,” he said. “It’s not like there’s all these juicy details, but it definitely just lends itself to the emotions and things that you go through when you go through a divorce.
“Thinking about the album, just the getting over that and moving on and finding somebody else … so it’s been a blast to make. I am super, super happy about it. I mean, I really am. I couldn’t be happier with the way ‘Came Here to Forget’ has just took off.
“You never know when the next one if going to be your last one you know? And so like when we were releasing this single, it’s like I hadn’t had a song out in a while. Are they (the fans) still out there? Do they still care? And it was cool to see it take off like that.”
For more from the Blake Shelton interview, tune in to the new episode of CMT Hot 20 Countdown airing Saturday and Sunday (March 19-20) at 9 a.m. ET/PT.