"It's good to have that sense of humor," he tells PEOPLE's Country Special issue

Brad Paisley has discovered the secret to a successful marriage. It involves the funnybone.

“Humor is the great equalizer, just like music,” the singer, 36, tells PEOPLE in its June Country Special issue. “If you can make a woman laugh, you’ll get to talk to her longer.”

Selected as one of “Country’s Hottest Guys” along with 11 others – including Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney and Blake Shelton – in the issue, Paisley says, “When I learned how to be funny, it was life-changing.”

The singer credits his good humor with keeping his marriage to Kimberly Williams-Paisley, now in its sixth year, so strong. The couple have two children together, William Huckleberry, 2, and Jasper Warren, born last month.

“As things begin to sag and looks fade,” Paisley says, “it’s good to always have that sense of humor between you.”

For more on Brad Paisley, and to hear from all of Country’s Hottest Guys, pick up PEOPLE’s Country Special, on newsstands Friday. Plus, tune in to PEOPLE Country on CMT for behind-the-scenes footage May 15 at 1:30 p.m.