Blake Shelton took the stage at the 2019 ACM Awards to perform his brand-new single, "God's Country." The country star released the single at the end of March, a little over a week before the annual awards show on Sunday night (April 7).

Appropriately, the performance was thunderous, thanks to a massive band and Shelton's fire-and-brimstone performance, which showed off his tenacious vocal side.

Streaks of electric guitar, pounding drums and soulful female vocal backing harmonies further underscored the tune's brooding vibe.

As Shelton performed, footage of nature--a crashing storm, grazing livestock, wildfires, a horse trail, sprawling forests--were projected behind him, illustrating the song's message.

For "God's Country," Shelton called on the songwriting talents of two Nashville mainstays who are also rising country stars in their own rights: Devin Dawson and Hardy, who co-wrote the track with ace songwriter Jordan Schmidt. "Hardy and I both come from, like, a metal background, and it's pretty heavy, man," Dawson, who also contributes background vocals to the song, explains. "But it still has that lyric that I need, to chew on. It has heart."

In a press release, Shelton says that he was drawn to "God's Country" because it is simultaneously so personally meaningful to him and also open to each listener's individual experience: "No matter where you are from, or where you're standing, it is my belief that you're standing in God's Country," he says. "For me it's about being from Oklahoma -- where I was born, raised and still live today."

"God's Country" is Shelton's first single from a forthcoming new album. Further details about the project have yet to be announced.

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