Jerrod Niemann is opening the next chapter of his career with a heartfelt single titled "God Made a Woman."

Niemann kicked off his songwriting career by writing mean songs about his sister at age 8. Though "Amy’s Butt Looks Like a Hat" will probably never be considered one of the greats, by 21 years old, Niemann found himself writing serious songs with Garth Brooks.

Now 37, Niemann, best known for hits such as “Lover, Lover,” “Drink to that All Night” and the recent “A Little More Love” featuring Curb Records label mate Lee Brice, is changing directions with his new single. A mid-tempo ballad, “God Made a Woman” is quite the opposite of party-fueled singles such as “Drink to That All Night,” but Niemann has never been one to pigeonhole himself into a particular song style or brand. He’s simply himself.

"It’s all about challenging yourself," Niemann tells us. "In this world of branding, everybody wants everything to be exactly the same all the time, and that sucks because once you’ve already done something, you’ve done something. For me, having the same conversation twice just does not inspire me… If I’m truly inspired and truly challenge myself, it’s so much more fun to put it out into the world and see what happens."

Perhaps that diversity is also the songwriter in Niemann, who has had cuts with Jamey Johnson, Blake Shelton, Neal McCoy and others, as well as writing some of his own cuts. However, Niemann’s name isn’t tattooed to the songwriting credits of “God Made a Woman.” Instead, it was written by his country music pals Michael Ray, Joel Shewmake and Jeff Hyde, though Niemann didn’t know that when he first fell in love with the song.

"Michael’s a friend of mine, Jeff and I went to the same college and Joel is a guy who’s been writing songs in town as long as I have, like 15 years," Niemann said. "I heard this song once and it just captivated every ounce of my being and then to see those guys’ names together on that tune, it was exciting for me. I’m still a big fan of theirs."

According to Niemann, the song focuses on how a foolish man meets an amazing woman who changes him for the better, thus making her — and all women — "God’s greatest gift to all of us."

Produced by Niemann and Jimmie Lee Sloas, the song has a minimal modern pop-country feel that relies on the vocal melody and lyrics to emote the message. Always interested in a challenge, Niemann once again considers this production style new territory.

"When country’s going this way, I don’t know if it’s a character flaw or what, but I always just try to go the opposite way. … This song has an orchestra, a steel guitar, acoustic guitar and not much more besides some stereo sounds in the background to bring it to life. With this song, I feel like less is more."

As far as expectations for his new release, Niemann hasn’t looked that far ahead. Having weathered a 15-plus year storm of can’t-get-his-foot-in-the-door moments and dicey label deals to hit songs, Niemann’s current focus isn’t on winning awards, number one parties and business deals; it’s about being real.

"I want to be a good husband and hopefully, a father one day. If someone asked me to define my purpose in life in two sentences. … I want to live, laugh and love and make music that makes other people want to live, laugh and love. If I can stick to that, then I feel like everything else will fall into place. I just want to be true to myself and true to the music because people have a bulls--t radar they don’t even know they have and as soon as you’re not yourself, it’s game over."

“God Made a Woman” will be released to iTunes on Friday (March 17).

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