Blake Shelton Says His Classic Song 'Austin' Is 'Still as Powerful' 20 Years After Its Release

"Twenty years may have passed, but sometimes I still feel like the kid from Oklahoma I was back then!" he tells PEOPLE. Shelton released an acoustic cover of his pivotal hit for Amazon Music

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Blake Shelton. Photo: Trae Patton/NBC/Getty

P.S., if this is Austin, we still love you.

On Friday, Blake Shelton revisited a classic hit as he releases an acoustic version of his Amazon Original track "Austin," exclusively with Amazon Music. (PEOPLE has an exclusive first look.)

"Man – 20 years may have passed, but sometimes I still feel like the kid from Oklahoma I was back then!" Shelton, 45, tells PEOPLE. "The kid who came to Nashville just wanting to sing country music."

Shelton revisits the track on the 20th anniversary of his debut album Blake Shelton, which featured hits such as "Ol' Red," "Every Time I Look at You" and "She Doesn't Know She's Got It."

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Amazon Music

"I couldn't be prouder to celebrate the anniversary of my debut album," he says. "'Austin' is the first song we ever released from the album, and it is still a cornerstone of my live shows. I'm excited to share a new version of one of the most important songs of my career with an Amazon Original."

The acoustic revisited version of "Austin" is available to stream exclusively on Amazon Music now.

"I'm not sure how many people actually have an 'answering machine' anymore, but the song is still as powerful and special as the first time I ever sang it," he adds. "I'm grateful for all the fans who continue to connect with it like I do."

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Shelton spoke to PEOPLE back in April when the song itself — which became the newlywed's first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart — turned 20 years old.

"I would have told that kid, 'Hey man, the mullet's not as cool as you think it is,'" he told PEOPLE then. "And I would have told myself to get more rest back then. When I started I was 24 and lived life to the max back then. It's probably why I ran out of battery so soon."

"Here I am sitting here talking to you 20 years later after 'Austin' came out — not only talking to you but talking about new music that's still coming out," he added then. "I don't know how this happened to me, but I thank God every day. I've just been super blessed and super lucky. It's unbelievable."

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