Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Joe Nichols will set the tone for the final day of the 95th Annual Delaware State Fair on the M&T Grandstand on July 26.

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Joe Nichols will set the tone for the final day of the 95th Annual Delaware State Fair on the M&T Grandstand on July 26.

Nichols ─ who’s the opening act for the headlining country trio Lady Antebellum ─ recently dropped a new music video for his single “Yeah,” off his eighth and latest album “Crickets” (2013). The previous single off “Crickets” was “Sunny and 75,” which peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay Charts. As a result of being downloaded on iTunes more than 500,000 times, “Sunny and 75” has since earned the status of certified gold.

Nichols ─ who hasn’t performed in Delaware since he last sang the national anthem at Dover International Speedway a few years ago – recently spoke with the Dover Post about adding rap covers into his repertoire, a jewel that Lady Antebellum dropped on him, and more.

Q You recently released a music video for your single “Yeah,” which has a comic book style to it. Was the idea for the video influenced by you or director Wes Edwards?

A It came from the director, and he did a good job. Actually, the original version of the video wasn’t in a comic book style at all. It was intentionally a little cheeseball and corny, but it came off as kind of unintentionally corny and cheesy. So when he put that [comic book] spin on it, it changed the entire complexion of the video and it made it cool.

Q Are you a fan of superheroes. If so, who’s your favorite?

A I like superheroes, but I didn’t grow up with a lot of comic books. We didn’t have any of that kind of disposable income for comic books or anything like that [laughs]. We were doing good to have food. But I am a fan of comic books, especially superheroes. I’ve always been a Batman fan.

Q What covers are you thinking about playing at the fair?

A I play “Baby Got Back,” but we do it country style. We make a rap song into a country song. It’s kind of opposite of what people are doing nowadays in country: they’re turning country songs into rap. We also do “Runnin’ Down A Dream” and “I’m the Man,” the Aloe Blacc song.

Q Where did the idea to perform “Baby Got Back” and “I’m the Man” come from?

A One day I was playing a joke on my band and I just started playing on the guitar and thought I’d have a little giggle with them, and I just started singing the words to “Baby Got Back” in the middle of the show. And they just jumped right in there. We all had a good laugh about it. It was a pretty funny moment. It all came together in that song, and that’s when the show all of a sudden started taking on a life of its own. [It was] a funny part of the show, so we added it permanently.      

Q Being on tour with Lady Antebellum, what are some things you’ve learned from them?

A They’re just good people. Some tours can feel very uptight and not very down to earth. But they’re certainly great people to [be around]. They have a very approachable way about them. I think it teaches me every day that no matter how big you get, you can always be approachable.

Q Your single “Sunny and 75” has received more than 500,000 downloads on iTunes, earning it gold status. At a time when music piracy is so high, what’s it mean to you when you can have one of your songs or albums reach a milestone like that?

A I think it’s a big deal to sell anything in bulk like that. I think that’s a huge feat to accomplish, especially like you said, with the piracy and the different ways you can pick up stuff for free. It says one thing to me and that is we’re connecting to the fans in the right way.

Q How have you built such a strong relationship with your fans?

A I think it’s important to let everybody know who you are without distancing yourself from the fans. I think people pick up on authenticity and I think the more we can stay with that, it gives me a way to relate to them.

Q Aside from growing your fan base, what are some other goals you’re aiming to accomplish in your career?

A I got kind of spoiled there my first couple of years in 2002, 2003 and 2004. I won a couple of awards and I was kind of like, ‘This is how it’s always going to be.’ I quickly learned that was not the case. I’ve been nominated four times for a Grammy and never won. As little thought as I put into awards, it would be nice to feel that acceptance by the industry and the fans on that stage. I know it’s vain a little bit, and it’s kind of shallow, but at the same time it’s, like I said, a feeling of acceptance. It’d mean a lot. But I’ve already done way more than I ever thought I would anyway, so I can’t be too picky.