Garth Brooks + Blake Shelton’s ‘Dive Bar’ Duet Surprised Even Garth
"I thought, 'I’m feeling something here that's drawing me right into this television.' So I just reached out for him. He was so sweet on the phone," Brooks recalls to Billboard of Shelton's performance of his newest single, "God's Country." "The last thing I said was, 'Hey, man, I don't want to put you on the spot, but we got a song that might be a pretty cool duet.'"
Brooks co-wrote "Dive Bar" with Mitch Rossell and Bryan Kennedy. "I want to go on record saying I did not think it would sound like this," Brooks admits. "I didn't know what I was expecting, but I’ve never heard [Blake] sing like that before."
Because this is a Brooks song, it will only be available on Amazon. The country superstar has an exclusive streaming deal with the company, which means his music is not available on Apple Music, Spotify or other similar platforms.
"I made sure Blake understood that first and then I told Amazon ... 'Doing this, you're going to cut his streams on this way down, so I need you to overperform on your end. Put him on every playlist you possibly can,'" Brooks says of the arrangement. "Of course that helps me, but the main thing is, I just don't want to hurt Blake."
Shelton and Brooks will perform "Dive Bar" together for the first time on July 19, at Brooks' Stadium Tour stop in Boise, Idaho. The multi-year trek began in early 2019. Shelton, who is keeping busy with his coaching role on The Voice, will open that show, and their performance will be filmed.
Brooks and Shelton previously worked together on The Voice back in 2016. Brooks was an advisor during the TV singing competition's 11th season. Brooks is from Tulsa, while Shelton grew up about three hours south, in Tishomingo.
Both Brooks and Shelton have been working on new music as of late. Brooks has been teasing a new album called Fun since early 2019; he tells Billboard it should be done "by the end of July." Shelton, meanwhile, has said that, despite recently releasing "God's Country," he's not sure when his next album will be out -- or even if he'll release another full-length project.
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