It hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since Blake Shelton released his debut single “Austin” to country radio, but it has. The song wasn’t just Blake’s first single but his first number one song as well. It came off his self-titled debut album.
On Thursday, Blake revealed during a press conference in Orlando that he will be singing “Austin” at the ACM Awards because they wanted to honor the song as part of a medley along with his latest single “Minimum Wage.” He also noted that his performance will be pre-taped, and he believes that this is the case for all of the performances.
“Austin” spent five weeks in the number one position and the tune was even a pop hit, as it peaked at number 18 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. At the time, it was Shelton’s highest-peaking single on that chart until “Honey Bee” debuted at number 13 in 2011.
“Austin” even tied a record set by Billy Ray Cyrus in 1992. Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” stayed atop the chart for five weeks, setting the mark for an artist’s debut single in the Broadcast Data Systems era of the chart.
The song tells the story of a woman who moves to Austin after breaking up with her boyfriend. Less than a year later, she decides to contact him. She calls numerous times and is greeted by his answering machine that explains where he could be. The message always ends with the following phrase: “And P.S. if this is Austin, I still love you.”
The song also marked Blake’s first music video. The music video debuted on CMT on July 17, 2001. It depicts Shelton standing in front of a red 1968 first generation Ford Mustang and projector screen with a woman on it. The woman attempts to call the narrator and it eventually shows her driving to where the narrator is and walking up to Blake.