Joined on stage by a prop windmill and a backdrop of roiling storm clouds, the country star roared his way through the fiery new track, declaring time and time again that should he be reincarnated, he has very specific plans for his return: “If my neck don’t come out red/ Then Lord just keep me dead,” he crooned. “‘Cause a country boy is all I know how to be.”
Dressed in all black, Shelton made sure that his darker theme got across to the crowd, with faux lightning crashing in the background and during the song’s riled-up guitar solo. “When I die, I wanna come back as a country boy,” he sang in front of a weathered fence. “No, there ain’t no better life if you ask me.”
The performance came just hours after Shelton officially unveiled his new music video for the single (written by “God’s Country” co-writers Michael Hardy and Jordan Schmidt), in which Shelton makes his declared wish a reality — as a meteor comes crashing to the earth, the country star emerges in flames, back to his life as the titular country boy.
Shelton wasn’t the only one at the 2021 CMA Awards to deliver some memorable performances — the evening saw performances from stars like Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Kane Brown and others.