By Olivia Bahou
Updated Jul 28, 2016 @ 4:15 pm
Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

It’s no secret that 2015 was tough for Blake Shelton, and the country crooner is getting brutally honest about his year of transitions in a new Billboard interview. The 40-year-old star revealed just how much of his new album, If I’m Honest, is based on fact.

“When you have a broken heart—at least, when I do—you got to get it out of your system. You want people to sympathize with you. I was at rock bottom, in the middle of hell,” he said, that from the record, “you can learn some facts of my divorce. Maybe not specifics, but you can get a general idea about it.”

But it’s not all bad news for the star, who announced his split from country star Miranda Lambert last July after four years of marriage. He’s now happily in love with pop star Gwen Stefani. “It is my divorce record, but maybe even more than that, it’s my happy, falling-in-love record too.”

So how did their whirlwind romance actually come about? It’s the story of two broken hearts. Shelton says they weren’t close when Stefani joined Season 7 of The Voice, but when she returned for Season 9 and learned of his divorce, her reaction made him see her in a different light.

“I won’t forget that day,” he said. “I looked over at Gwen—who I didn’t really know—and she had these huge tears in her eyes. I thought, ‘Wow, she feels super bad for me!’”

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When Stefani opened up about her own split, the two became each other’s support system. “It went from that, to checking in on each other once a week through email—‘This shit happened to me, what happened to you?’—to maybe three times a week, then every day, to ‘Hey, here’s my phone number if you ever want to text.’ Next thing I know, I wake up and she’s all I care about, and I’m wondering if she feels the same about me,” he said.

Timing, it seems, was the key to connecting him with his soul mate. “Who else on earth could understand going through a high-profile divorce from another musician?” he said. “You can’t even imagine the similarities in our divorces.”