Chris Stapleton says his new album was a fight, and he means it in more ways than one. The "Starting Over" singer had sinus surgery, and that changed everything for him — at least for awhile.

The 2020 CMA Male Vocalist of the Year nominee tells Apple Music Country's Kelleigh Bannen (host of Today's Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen) that his surgery was three years ago, and it changed how he hears his own voice.

"So I've had to relearn a little bit how to use the instrument that I have, and sometimes I think I'm doing okay, but the other times it feels like an untrained thing that I don't quite have a grasp on," Stapleton says.

The 42-year-old is preparing to release his new Starting Over album in November — an album he says is one of the best things he's ever created. His last studio album was From A Room, Vol. 2, released in Dec. 2017.

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Sinus surgery wasn't the only struggle. The "Broken Halos" hitmaker tells Bannen that he was recording in Muscle Shoals, Ala., and not having much fun for a variety of reasons when the electricity went out across town. So, he shut it down.

"Yeah, all these kind of acts of God against — 'You're not supposed to be doing this right now,'" Stapleton explains in an interview available on Apple Music Radio. "And just mentally, I had to reset for a minute ... It's not like we didn't get anything out of it. It just, I was having a hard time crossing the finish line, mentally, and that was a new thing for me that I hadn't on some other records."

In announcing the new album, Stapleton revealed 14 songs, including several he played live during his summer and fall 2019 tour. "Starting Over" is his first radio single in two years.

Today's Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen is one of several artist-driven shows on Apple Music Country. The country singer-turned-radio-host has also interviewed Luke Bryan, Dan + Shay and Caylee Hammack during her first weeks on air. Bannen is also the host of the This Nashville Life podcast.

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