Shelton has filled the opening act slot for Strait over the years, including a multi-day stint on the King of Country’s 2009 tour. So when he got the call that he’d been invited to open for him again during an upcoming one-off show at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., he was eager to repeat the memorable experience.
“It was awesome,” Shelton reflects on being asked to open for Strait. “It was one of the greatest things I ever did outside of [my] career, just being a country music fan and being able to stand on the side of the stage every night and watch him and get a chance to visit with him a few times.”
The “God’s Country” singer struck gold earlier this summer when he had the chance to visit with the country legend again before they shared a stage at the 2019 Buckeye Country Superfest in Ohio, and he was just as in awe to be in Strait’s presence as he was 10 years ago. “Just like I hoped, I got the invitation to go up on the bus and hang out with him and I literally don’t remember leaving his bus. I was so excited I was just drinking my face off,” he laughs. “I was super pumped about it and hopefully I’ll get a chance to do that again this month in Boston.”
Strait will headline the show at Gillette Stadium on Saturday (August 17), with Shelton, Cody Johnson and Caitlyn Smith serving as direct support. Going into the show, The Voice coach is grateful for the opportunity to perform alongside an artist he’s long admired. “To be able to now flash forward many years to get that call, I don’t know if it was George himself, I like to tell myself it was, that asked for me. I’m just happy to be doing it,” Shelton says.
Shelton recently tied with Strait and Alan Jackson for having the third most amount of No. 1 hits on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, with “God’s Country” becoming his 26th chart topper.