Country star Shelton enjoys "accidental" hit

Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:50am EDT
 
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By Ken Tucker

NASHVILLE (Billboard) - Country singer Blake Shelton owes his latest hit to two fellow stars: girlfriend Miranda Lambert and Canadian crooner Michael Buble.

Shelton's version of "Home," a song Buble took to No. 1 on Billboard's adult contemporary chart in 2005, jumped four places to No. 16 on the latest Hot Country Songs chart.

Shelton says he found the song "quite accidentally" on his iPod, which Lambert loads for him.

"When I heard it I was like, 'What is this? I didn't give her this one.' Then I looked to see who was singing it and kept listening," he recalls. "I loved it, started singing it around, added it to my live show and here we are -- it's now on my album."

Warner Bros. decided to have Shelton record the song, and shipped it to radio even though the label was two singles into his most recent album, "Pure BS," which has sold 270,000 copies in the United States since March 2007, according to Nielsen SoundScan. ("Don't Make Me" peaked at No. 12 on Hot Country Songs in June 2007, and "The More I Drink" stopped at No. 19 in December.)

"Home" was released commercially as part of the Wal-Mart exclusive "Blake Shelton Collector's Edition," a set that also includes the hits "Austin," "Ol' Red," "Nobody but Me" and "Some Beach." On May 6, Warner Bros. will release "Pure BS Deluxe Edition," which in addition to last year's album's original tracks will also include "Home" and two bonus cuts.

Shelton says he can relate to the song for the same reason Buble wrote it. "I travel a lot -- and I'm fortunate as a singer to get to do what I do -- but sometimes I just want to go home," he says. "I get to missing my house, my land, my family, everything that makes home 'home."'

Despite his traditional country lean, Shelton says he wasn't concerned about covering a pop song. "The first time I heard 'Home' I felt it was more country than pop and I think it fits well in the country format," he says.

Shelton and Buble met for the first time last month, when Buble played a concert in Nashville. They performed the song together on stage.

Reuters/Billboard

 
<p>Singers Miranda Lambert (L) and Blake Shelton arrive at the 41st annual Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 7, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>