Blake Shelton remembers his early days as a country musician with Kelly Clarkson.
During an appearance on Monday’s episode of The Kelly Clarkson Showthe two superstar musicians performed a casual and heartfelt acoustic duet from Shelton’s 2001 debut single, “Austin.”
In a clip of the interview uploaded to YouTube, the 40-year-old american idol The student said she would like to duet the double-platinum hit single and asked Shelton, 46, to start playing the tune on his guitar. “I’ve never heard you sing on this show, that’s great,” she joked with Clarkson, who opens each episode of her NBC talk show by performing a new version of the song as part of the Kellyoke segment.
As Shelton began strumming the song’s opening guitar part, he exclaimed, “Shit, I played it!”
He sang the first verse, “She left without leaving a number / Said she needed to clear her mind / Thought she went back to Austin / ‘Cause she talked about it all the time / It was almost a year before she called him / Three rings and an answering machine is what he got.
Clarkson then harmonized with Shelton during the song’s chorus: “If you call about the car, I sold it / If this is Tuesday night, I’m bowling / If you got anything to sell, you’re wasting your time.” , I’m not buying / If it’s someone else, wait for the tone, you know what to do / And PS, if this is Austin, I still love you “.
After applause from the crowd, the “Since U Been Gone” singer-songwriter opened up about her love for the song. “It’s so good,” Clarkson said. “I know Blake fans already know this, but you have to listen to the whole song, because then the last chorus comes on and you’re like, ‘Ahhh!'”
Last year, Shelton revisited “Austin” as an Amazon original acoustic version for the 20th anniversary of his debut album. Blake Sheltonwhich also featured such hits as “Ol’ Red,” “Every Time I Look at You,” and “She Doesn’t Know She’s Got It.”
“Man, it may have been 20 years, but sometimes I still feel like the kid from Oklahoma I was back then!” he told PEOPLE at the time. “The guy who came to Nashville just wanting to sing country music.”
Shelton continued, “I couldn’t be more proud to celebrate the anniversary of my debut album. ‘Austin’ is the first song we released from the album, and it continues to be the cornerstone of my live shows.”
“I’m not sure how many people have an ‘answering machine,’ but the song is still as powerful and special as it was the first time I sang it,” he added. “I’m thankful for all the fans who continue to connect with him like I do.”
He also spoke to PEOPLE in April 2021 when the song itself, which became his first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart: turned 20.
“I would have told that kid, ‘Hey, the mullet isn’t as cool as you think,'” she told PEOPLE at the time. “And he would have told myself to rest more back then. When I started I was 24 and living life to the fullest back then. That’s probably why I ran out of battery so soon.”
“Here I am sitting here talking to you guys 20 years after ‘Austin’ came out, not just talking to you guys but talking about new music that is still coming out,” he added at the time. “I don’t know how this happened to me, but I thank God every day. I’ve been super blessed and super lucky. It’s amazing.”