New album, NBC's "The Voice" make for awesome times for Blake Shelton

Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:36pm EDT
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By Vernell Hackett

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - Country music singer Blake Shelton has never been one to shy away from his feelings, so when it came to recording his new album he sought out songs that reflected his current state of mind.

Life, he says, is "pretty awesome."

"It's all where I am in my life right now. I'm very content with my life. I'll be happy if it stays like this for a long time," Shelton, 36, told Reuters of his new album "Based on a True Story..."

After some 10 years in country music, Shelton's popularity has surged in his two years as a judge on NBC's "The Voice" singing contest, which is seen by about 13 million U.S. viewers a week.

The new album's first single, "Sure Be Cool If You Did," released in January, has already topped the U.S. country chart. "Based on a True Story...," released to coincide with the return of "The Voice" this week, is expected to debut near the top of next week's album chart.

"I didn't want to do any sad songs, damn it, but this is a country album so you have to do a couple," said Shelton.

"I had those years where I made those kinds of records and something will happen one of these days and it will be a part of my music again. But right now everything is pretty awesome," he added.

Shelton, 36, is the latest country star to break into the mainstream. His 2011 album "Red River Blue," reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, buoyed in part by the singer's laid-back, fun-loving role on the TV show.   Continued...

Blake Shelton speaks at the 46th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Henderson