Blake Shelton hitting studios to finish new album

Blake Shelton in a 2011 promotional photo for 'The Voice.' (WMG)

April 25, 2011 5:27:56 AM PDT
Blake Shelton knows an opportunity when he sees one.

With his new single "Honey Bee" setting a record for digital sales and rocketing up the charts, the country singer and soon-to-be reality television coach is going into the studio this week to finish his next album.

"Playing your cards too close to your chest doesn't pay out," Shelton said. "I feel like right now if I've got a single that's exploding, easily my fastest climber, I don't want to do something like wait and put (the album) out in the fall. It's when you rally the troops and say, `Man, we've got to get this thing done."'

Until Shelton debuted the single during The Academy of Country Music Awards earlier this month, he was content to finish the album later this summer and release it in the fall.

He's got plenty to do as it is. His marriage to Miranda Lambert comes May 14 and his stint on NBC's "The Voice" debuts Tuesday, with live shows in June. But that ACM awards performance of "Honey Bee" spurred a sales buzz and the single sold more than 138,000 digital copies its first week, a record for a country male solo artist.

It was the greatest gainer on the Billboard country songs chart and jumped to No. 21 last week. That's light speed in the world of country radio. So now the album is due out July 12 and Shelton's hitting Nashville this week to finish the untitled album with producer Scott Hendricks pronto.

He's already got the songs picked out. It's just a matter of laying them down. Expect a good times vibe.

"Honestly it's just songs that I can kind of relate to at this moment of my life," Shelton said. "I'm getting married in about a month and just really feeling good about everything in my life. ... It's definitely songs from a guy wishing I could freeze this moment for the rest of time."