Congratulations are in order to Blake Shelton, who won the award for Single of the Year at the 2019 CMA Awards, for "God's Country." Each year, the trophy in this category is awarded to the artist, producer and mix engineers behind the winning single.

After joking that he didn't know how to go about thanking voters ("I have no idea how this thing works after 20 years of doing this"), Shelton devoted his first-ever Single of the Year win to his late mentor Earl Thomas Conley, who passed away in April of this year, and songwriter and producer Busbee, who died on Sept. 29.

"God's Country" shot to the top of the charts upon its release in March. Produced by Scott Hendricks, it was quickly hailed as an anthemic, Southern rock-infused ode to love of home and reverence for the God that created that ground. Shelton has said that when he first heard the song while working on his hometown farm in his native Oklahoma, he immediately connected to its message. "God's Country" was co-written by two other artists, Hardy and Devin Dawson, alongside songwriter Jordan Schmidt.

"God's Country" also lends its name to Shelton's forthcoming new album, Fully Loaded: God's Country. Prior to announcing that project's release, the singer had admitted that making a new album wasn't at the top of his priority list, and, in fact, he wasn't sure he ever would do so again. The batch of stand-alone songs that includes "God's Country" and Shelton's subsequent single "Hell Right" (with Trace Adkins), weren't intentionally conceived as the framework for a new record, but they will all be included on Fully Loaded.

The song beat out a number of other talented nominees in this CMA Awards category. Dierks Bentley and Brothers Osborne's "Burning Man," Maren Morris' "Girl," Chris Stapleton's "Millionaire" and Dan + Shay's "Speechless" all went into tonight's ceremony in the running for the award.

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