Blake Shelton is one of the reigning superstars of country music, and his success, coupled with his role as a coach on the hit TV show, "The Voice," has helped the genre gain greater visibility in the pop world.

"With country music, there's two things about it," Blake tells Cowboys & Indians magazine. "I hear [fellow judge] Cee Lo [Green] say this a lot, too, which is interesting because I would consider him a pop/R&B artist. Lyrically, country music is so in-depth. There are writers who spend days, weeks, months, sometimes a year on one song, making sure they're writing something special. Sure, sometimes it might only take 15 minutes. But they're always making sure they're writing something that connects with people. It's not about a gimmick. It's about things that are relatable for people that they can understand --  it's not over their heads."

The ratings success of TV talent shows, including "The Voice" and "American Idol," has been a factor in the surge of country music's popularity, too. But Blake says country music has always appealed to those who just want to get lost in the music.

"It's easy to sing along to and it's easy to understand," he explains. "When you're in your car and you're driving from work back home, you don't want to think too hard about what you're listening to on the radio. You want to smile or have a moment when you go back to something in your life that you like to remember. With pop and rock these days, the music gets away from that a little bit. Don't get me wrong: I think there's some great pop music overall. But I think there's so much emphasis on the writing in country music. That's the difference."

Time will tell whether Blake's crossover success, which includes a guest vocal on fellow judge Christina Aguilera's upcoming Lotus CD, will have any bearing on his four CMA award nominations, including one for Entertainer of the Year. The 46th Annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville, Nov. 1 at 8:00 PM ET on ABC.

Blake is joined by pop star Michael Bublé as his mentor on this season of "The Voice," which airs Monday and Tuesday nights at 8:00 PM ET on NBC.

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