"I can't say enough about the power of this song," Shelton tells Billboard. "The first time that I heard 'God's Country,' I knew I wanted to record it, after hearing just one verse and chorus. I feel the song fills a gap not being served [musically] in country right now. I'm so glad to be a part of it and I'm thrilled the fans are finding the same connect with it that I do."
With "Country," which Devin Dawson, Jordan Schmidt and Hardy co-wrote, becoming Shelton's 26th Country Airplay leader, he ties Alan Jackson and George Strait for the third-most No. 1s in the chart's history, which dates to January 1990. Kenny Chesney leads with 30, followed by Tim McGraw with 29.
"Country" is Shelton's first Country Airplay No. 1 since "I'll Name the Dogs" on Dec. 30, 2017. He first led with his debut hit "Austin," for five weeks in 2001.
Concurrently, Garth Brooks' "Dive Bar," featuring Shelton, bumps 26-24 on Country Airplay (8.7 million, up 10%) and re-enters Hot Country Songs at No. 47; it debuted at its Nos. 16 and 34 respective highs two weeks ago.