Jake Owen kicked off the giving season with the release of his fourth album, Days of Gold.
The project arrived this week and follows his highly-successful Barefoot Blue Jean Night. Although creating another hit record has been at the forefront of Owen's mind, he believes the stress of keeping the momentum going has become a thing of the past.
"I had a lot of pressure, I felt like, before I ever had hits because you have to have one to maintain a career," he recently told CMT Hot 20 Countdown. "So maybe with the last album, I had some pressure of like 'This is it. I better have a hit.' Now that I've had four in a row, it feels good.
"Once you get a taste of that No. 1 spot or being on top of a list of other names, you know that you're capable of it, and there's no pressure of wondering if you can ever do it. Now it's just about having fun and recording great songs."
Through the years, Owen's songs have carried him to the top of the charts multiple times. And looking back on the journey, he says he's grateful success didn't come overnight.
"I'm the type of guy that's needed the journey that I've taken to get to where I am," he said. "I think about Carrie Underwood, and I reference my friends Florida Georgia Line a lot about how some of their careers just exploded from the beginning. You're thrown into a lot of these situations that you are responsible for all of a sudden. And that's a lot to be responsible for."
He realizes the responsibilities come with being a tour headliner.
"All of the buses, trucks and fuel that goes in those trucks and buses, the people who work for you, getting to know everyone in order to just keep a solid foundation, it's tough to uphold," he said. "I have had years to build these relationships, and I feel like I have an army that is pretty well trained at going into war and winning."
For more from the interview with Owen, tune in to CMT Hot 20 Countdown Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 7-8) at 11 a.m. ET/PT.