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BILLY’S BACK American country star Billy Currington evokes loss and love in new album

'I'm not sure if you ever get rid of the pain…there are things you carry along with you throughout the years'

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A compelling new album from Billy Currington

A compelling new album from Billy Currington

A compelling new album from Billy Currington

When it comes to the ups and downs of relationships, American country singer Billy Currington has the scars to show from his own experiences.

And like every songwriter worth his salt, Nashville-based Currington has mined his joy and pain from the journey of love to tell a compelling batch of personal stories on his new album, Intuition.

It has a mix of musical styles, from pop to rock and R&B, and was co-written with British-born producer Rob Persaud, who has worked with everyone from Lady Gaga to Nick Jonas.

Chatting by Zoom from his home in Nashville, with the sun streaming through a large window, Billy (47) says he's currently single after coming out of a long-term relationship.

"I have no marital-type relationship at the moment; I'm just cruising along and stayin' open to what's comin'," the laid-back entertainer tells Shuffle.

"I came out of something that was long-term, and then months went by still feeling the pain from that. I don't know if you ever get rid of the pain from the one before that one… there are things you carry along with you throughout the years."

Billy says he was a fan of Rob Persaud's work as a songwriter and producer, and sought him out. "Rob understood the way I felt, and was able to help me put these words into music, into a song," he reveals.

"We met up in Nashville, I went to his house and we wrote our first song that night. Over the next six to eight days we wrote about five songs, and I knew then we were on to something. It just kept going from there… that was the start of the album."

Rob was like your shrink? "Yes, he was part of the healing process," Billy says. "We had so many talks about 'why does this happen?' Any question I ever have, he has the best answer for it. I definitely grew to look at Rob as one of the closest, if not the best friend, that I have right now.

"You meet some people and you feel you've known them forever, and that was the feeling I had with Rob. I felt like he was the only person I could talk to and would really want to give it time.

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"You know how most people, when you tell them your troubles, they don't want to hear about it, but he was like, 'tell me more and by the next day I'll have a song for you.' We just fed off each other."

Currington, who is one of America's top country stars with a string of number one hits and sell-out shows that have earned him multi-millions, is now back on top of the world in his personal life.

"You do finally see the light and you start to come out of all the pain and feel so much better. Then you start meeting other people, and this album has all that in there," he says of the songs such as In Love, Get Close and Moon & Back.

Now back touring to crowds of up to 20,000 across America, Currington is hoping to play Ireland for the first time next year.

"This new album is being released around the world, and I want to go play it live - and Ireland, for sure, is at the top of the list," he says.

"I go to Maui in Hawaii a lot, and I was in part of it one time with a friend, and it was so amazing, and my friend said, 'Man, this looks like Ireland. I went to Ireland one time and this is how it looked.' So I'm looking forward to going over.

"I've always seen a bigger picture for myself (having a career outside of America), and I'm glad it's finally starting to happen."

• Billy Currington's album, Intuition, is out now.

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