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Blake Tollison Shelton (born June 18, 1976) is an American country music singer, songwriter, actor, and television personality. In 2001, he made his debut with the single "Austin". The lead-off single from his self-titled debut album, "Austin" spent five weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The now Platinum-certified debut album also produced two more top 20 entries ("All Over Me" and "Ol' Red"). Although the album was released on Giant Records Nashville, he was transferred to Warner Bros. Records Nashville after Giant closed in late 2001.
His second and third albums, 2003's The Dreamer and 2004's Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill, are gold and platinum, respectively. His fourth album, Pure BS (2007), was re-issued in 2008 with a cover of Michael Bublé's pop hit "Home" as one of the bonus tracks. His fifth album, Startin' Fires was released in November 2008. It was followed by the extended plays Hillbilly Bone and All About Tonight in 2010, and the albums Red River Blue in 2011, Based on a True Story... in 2013, Bringing Back the Sunshine in 2014, and If I'm Honest in 2016. Overall, in the country charts Blake Shelton has charted 33 singles, including 24 number ones, 17 of which were consecutive. The 11th No. 1 ("Doin' What She Likes") broke "the record for the most consecutive No. 1 singles in the Country Airplay chart's 24-year history". He is an eight-time Grammy Award nominee.
Shelton is also known for his role as a judge on the televised singing competitions Nashville Star, Clash of the Choirs, and The Voice. He has been on The Voice since its inception, and in five of twelve seasons (2–4, 7, 11), a member of his team has won. From 2011 to 2015, Shelton was married to fellow country singer Miranda Lambert.Contents
Shelton was born in Ada, Oklahoma, to Dorothy, a beauty salon owner, and Richard Shelton, a used car salesman. Shelton began singing at an early age and by age 12, he was taught how to play the guitar by his uncle. By age 15, he had written his first song. By age 16, he had received a Denbo Diamond Award in his home state. On November 13, 1990, his older brother Richie Shelton (who was 24) was killed in an automobile accident. After graduating from high school at seventeen, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a singing career. There he got a job at a music publishing company and, in 1997, he was aided by Bobby Braddock to obtain a production contract with Sony Music.Music career Performing at the Crawford County Fair, Meadville, PA, in August 2005. 2001–2006: Beginnings
Some years later in Nashville, he signed to Giant Records in 2001. In 2001, he was slated to release a song entitled "I Wanna Talk About Me" as a single. Staff at the label considered the song unsuitable for a lead-off single, however, and the song was eventually recorded by Toby Keith, whose version was a number 1 single.
Instead, Giant released "Austin" as Shelton's debut single. Shortly after its release, Giant Records was closed, and Shelton was transferred to parent company Warner Bros. Records. "Austin" spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts. Warner released his self-titled debut album, which was produced by songwriter Bobby Braddock. It also produced the top 20 hits "All Over Me", which Shelton co-wrote with Earl Thomas Conley and Mike Pyle, and "Ol' Red". Although Shelton's rendition of "Ol' Red" was not a major radio hit, he considers it his signature song, and it has become popular in concert. Blake Shelton received a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of 1,000,000 copies.
Blake Shelton received a positive review from Maria Konicki Dinoia of Allmusic, who called "Austin" "tremendously imaginative" and praised Shelton for including songs written by Braddock and Conley. Country Standard Time was less favorable, with Scott Homewood saying that it "album just smacks of being assembled with the intent on capturing the burgeoning alternative country market".
Shelton's second album, The Dreamer, was first released on February 4, 2003, on Warner Bros. Records. Its lead-off single, "The Baby", reached No. 1 on the country charts, holding that position for three weeks. Although the second and third singles ("Heavy Liftin'" and "Playboys of the Southwestern World", respectively) only reached No.32 and No. 24, The Dreamer earned gold certification as well. He, along with Andy Griggs and Montgomery Gentry, sang guest vocals on Tracy Byrd's mid-2003 single "The Truth About Men". Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill was the title of Shelton's third studio album, released in 2004. Its lead-off single, the Harley Allen co-write "When Somebody Knows You That Well", peaked at No.37 on the country charts, while the follow-up "Some Beach" became his third No.1 hit, holding that position for four weeks. It was followed by a cover of Conway Twitty's 1988 single "Goodbye Time". Both this cover and its followup, "Nobody but Me", reached Top Ten for Shelton as well. As with his first album, Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill was certified platinum. Accompanying the album's release was a video collection entitled Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill: A Video Collection.
On December 18, 2005, several of Shelton's songs, including "Nobody but Me", appeared on the TV movie The Christmas Blessing, starring Neil Patrick Harris, Rebecca Gayheart, Angus T. Jones, and Rob Lowe. Shelton had a small role at the end of the movie, playing himself at a benefit concert, singing "Nobody but Me".2006–2011: Pure BS and Startin' Fires
Shelton released his fourth studio album, Pure BS, in early 2007. Unlike with his first three albums, which were produced entirely by Bobby Braddock, Shelton worked with Braddock, Brent Rowan, and Paul Worley as producers for this album. Its first two singles—"Don't Make Me" and "The More I Drink"—were both Top 20 hits on the country charts, respectively reaching No.12 and No. 19. Also in late 2007, Shelton made appearances on television shows: first as a judge on the talent competition Nashville Star, and later on Clash of the Choirs.
Pure BS was re-released in 2008 with three bonus tracks, including a cover of Michael Bublé's hit single "Home". This cover, released in early 2008 as the album's third single, became his fourth No.1 hit in July.
"Home" was followed in August 2008 by the single "She Wouldn't Be Gone", his 14th chart entry and his fifth No. 1 hit. It was the first time in his career that he had two consecutive number ones. "She Wouldn't Be Gone" is the lead-off to Shelton's fifth studio album, Startin' Fires, which has also produced the single "I'll Just Hold On." This album also includes "Bare Skin Rug," a duet with Lambert. It was produced by Scott Hendricks, except for one track which was produced by Brent Rowan, and another ("I Don't Care", which carried over from Pure BS) was produced by Braddock. After "I'll Just Hold On" fell off the chart in October 2009, Blake Shelton released a duet with Trace Adkins titled "Hillbilly Bone". It was the lead single on Shelton's EP, Hillbilly Bone, released on March 2, 2010 through Reprise Records Nashville. After "Hillbilly Bone" reached No. 1 in February, came the August release of "All About Tonight", the lead-off single to his EP of the same name. In September, he released the second single from All About Tonight, "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking", his 18th single release. He released his first greatest hits album, Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton in November 2010.
Shelton was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry during the September 28, 2010 "Country Comes Home" concert celebrating reopening of the Grand Ole Opry House after the Cumberland River flooded the Opry House in May 2010. The formal invitation was extended on his Twitter account and was announced by Opry star Trace Adkins. He was formally inducted by Adkins at the October 23, 2010 Opry performance. Shelton recorded the title track for the remake of Footloose released on October 14, 2011. Shelton appeared on the 44th Annual Country Music Awards on November 10, 2010 where he performed "All About Tonight" and won Male Vocalist of the Year.
In 2011, Shelton started working as a judge/coach to singers on the NBC reality television series The Voice.2011–2012: The Voice, Red River Blue and Cheers, It's Christmas
Blake Shelton released the album Red River Blue on July 12, 2011, led by the single, "Honey Bee". The song received 138,000 downloads in its first week and was certified gold in its seventh week, setting a record for the fastest gold certification by a male country singer. On June 13, 2011, in its tenth chart week, "Honey Bee" went to No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, becoming his ninth No. 1 and his fastest-climbing. The album was expected to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with around 110,000 copies sold. "God Gave Me You", a cover of a Dave Barnes song, was the album's second single; it also reached No. 1. "Drink on It", the fifth song on the album, hit No. 1 in April 2012, giving him his 11th No. 1 song. On April 30, 2012, Blake performed "Over" on the Semi-finals of the second season of The Voice. "Over" became Shelton's seventh consecutive No. 1. and his 12th No. 1 hit to date.
Blake Shelton is a coach on the NBC show The Voice. In season 1, his finalist Dia Frampton came in second. Frampton recorded a track with Shelton titled "I Will" on her album Red, released December 6, 2011. Shelton returned for a second season of the show with his finalist Jermaine Paul as the champion. In season three of The Voice, Shelton's team member, Cassadee Pope, was declared the winner with other Team Blake contestant Terry McDermott finishing as runner-up.
Blake Shelton took the stage with Miranda Lambert at Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012 to open the event by singing a duet version of "America the Beautiful". It marked their first TV performance since their May 2011 wedding.
In October 2012, Shelton released his first Christmas album, Cheers, It's Christmas, which peaked at no. 1 and no. 2 respectively on the Top Holiday Albums and Top Country Albums charts.
Blake Shelton appears on fellow "Voice" coach Christina Aguilera's album Lotus on the song "Just a Fool".2013–2014: Based on a True Story...
Shortly after midnight on New Year's Day 2013, Shelton premiered a new single entitled "Sure Be Cool If You Did", which was released to iTunes on January 8 and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay chart in 2013. His eighth studio album, Based on a True Story..., was released on March 26, 2013 and debuted at No. 1 on the country chart and No. 3 on the all-genre chart by selling a career best nearly 200,000 copies. The album's second single, "Boys 'Round Here" released to country radio in 2013 and also reached No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart. The album's third single, "Mine Would Be You", was released to country radio on July 22, 2013 and reached No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart in November 2013. "Mine Would Be You" became Shelton's tenth consecutive No. 1 single, tying him with the record set by Brad Paisley in 2009. With the release of the album's fourth single, "Doin' What She Likes", Shelton achieved his eleventh consecutive No. 1 single, thus breaking the tie.
Blake Shelton received the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award for his role as a coach on The Voice at the 48th Academy of Country Music Awards in 2013.
Shelton supported Based on a True Story... on his Ten Times Crazier Tour which began on July 19, 2013 and ended on October 5, 2013. Shelton has continued the tour into 2014 and 2015.
On season four of The Voice, he became the winning coach for the third consecutive time with team members Danielle Bradbery as the winner and The Swon Brothers in third place.2014–present: Bringing Back the Sunshine and If I'm Honest
In August 2014, Shelton announced that his ninth studio album, Bringing Back the Sunshine, would be released on September 30, 2014. The album contains the singles "Neon Light", "Lonely Tonight" (a duet with fellow country singer Ashley Monroe), "Sangria" and "Gonna". All four singles have reached #1 on the Country Airplay chart.
On November 13, 2014, Shelton was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for his achievements in the music industry and for the generous work he has done for his home state. Shelton later called the recognition "unbelievable" and "an honor".
In season seven of The Voice, Craig Wayne Boyd was crowned the winner, scoring Shelton his fourth victory.
Shelton recorded a cover of Bob Dylan's 1974 hit "Forever Young" for the soundtrack of Max, which was released in the US on June 26, 2015.
Shelton's second greatest hits album, Reloaded: 20 #1 Hits, was released on October 23, 2015.
Shelton's tenth studio album, If I'm Honest, was released in May 2016. The album's first single "Came Here to Forget" was released to country radio on March 8, 2016. On November 9, 2015, Nickelodeon announced that Shelton would be the host of the 2016 Kids' Choice Awards. On April 8, 2016, a second single from the album, "Savior's Shadow", was released. It impacted Christian radio on April 12, 2016. In June 2016, Shelton released "She's Got a Way with Words" as the album’s third overall single and second promoted country single. The song peaked at number 7 on the Country Airplay chart, ending Shelton’s streak of 17 consecutive number one singles. "A Guy with a Girl", the album's fourth single, and third promoted country single, reached the top of the charts in early January, earning Shelton his twenty third career chart-topper.
Shelton recorded a song titled "Friends" for the soundtrack of The Angry Birds Movie, which was released in the US on May 20, 2016. He also voices the character of Earl, a pig.
In June 2016, Shelton celebrated the grand opening of his exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The exhibit, titled "Blake Shelton: Based on a True Story", traces Shelton's career path and achievements, encompassing his humble beginnings in Oklahoma, his Nashville origins, and his eventual path toward mainstream success and recognition through his role as a coach on The Voice.
In September 2016, Shelton was selected as one of 30 artists to perform on "Forever Country", a mash-up track of "Take Me Home, Country Roads", "On the Road Again", and "I Will Always Love You" celebrating 50 years of the CMA Awards. The single debuted at number one on Billboard's Hot Country Songs.
In season eleven of The Voice, Sundance Head was crowned the winner, giving Shelton his fifth victory on the show.
In March 2017, Shelton's wax figure was unveiled for Madame Tussauds Nashville.
In April 2017, Shelton was honored at the Oklahoma Creativity Ambassadors Gala, being one of 8 recipients to receive the Creativity Ambassador medallion.Achievements Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Blake Shelton
Shelton has been the recipient of nine Country Music Association Awards, five Academy of Country Music Awards, , one CMT Artist of the Year award, and seven CMT Music Awards. He has also received eight American Country Awards, three People's Choice Awards, two American Music Awards, one Billboard Music Award, and one iHeartRadio Music Awards, among others. Shelton has won 23 BMI awards and 22 ASCAP awards. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2010, for his many accomplishments in country music, and into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2014, attaining the highest honor one can receive from the state. In April 2013, Shelton was awarded the prestigious Gene Weed Special Achievement Award from the Academy of Country Music for his unprecedented, unique and outstanding individual achievement in country music and television. For his work on The Voice as a television personality, Shelton received the NATPE Reality Breakthrough Award for Best Reality Personality in 2017. Shelton has garnered eight Grammy nominations throughout his career, including nominations for Best Country Album, Best Country Solo Performance, and Best Music Film.
As one of the most successful country artists today, Shelton has sold over 10 million records worldwide, and as of 2014, has sold in excess of 20 million singles. Shelton has also amassed a tremendous commercial impact on the country music industry. His debut single "Austin", off his 2001 Platinum-selling self-titled album, tied the record set by Billy Ray Cyrus in 1992, staying atop the country charts for five weeks, and setting the mark for an artist's debut single in the Broadcast Data Systems era. The success of "Austin" also led Shelton to claim the #1 position on both Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and Top Country Singles Sales chart, making him the first debut male country artist to own the top spot on both charts simultaneously. Later, in 2010, Shelton's first single, "Honey Bee", from his sixth studio album Red River Blue, set a new record for the most first-week downloads by a male country singer. As a result of the downloads, the song debuted at number thirteen on the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated for the week ending April 23, 2011. This entry made Shelton the highest-debuting male country artist on the Hot 100 since Garth Brooks (recording as Chris Gaines) debuted at number five in September 1999. In 2013, Shelton's eighth album, Based on a True Story... , spawned the hit "Doin' What She Likes", which broke the record previously set by Brad Paisley in 2009 for the most consecutive #1 singles in the Country Airplay chart's 24-year history, since it was first tracked by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems in January 1990. In 2016, "Came Here to Forget", the lead-off single from Shelton's tenth studio album If I'm Honest, extended this streak into a record-breaking 17 consecutive number one singles, leading him to surpass Earl Thomas Conley's record of 16 consecutive number one singles. As of 2017, Shelton remains one of only five country artists to have achieved #1 status on the Billboard Artist 100 chart, having charted all 156 weeks the chart has existed. The CMA Awards also recognizes Shelton, in addition to George Strait and Vince Gill, as the record holders for the most Male Vocalist of the Year wins, as all three have each garnered 5 victories. On January 18, 2017, Shelton made People's Choice Awards history by becoming the first country artist to ever win the all-genre category of Favorite Album over competitors Beyoncé, Drake, Rihanna and Ariana Grande. During the ceremony, Shelton also took home the trophy for Favorite Male Country Artist, marking his second consecutive win in the category. In 2016, Billboard released their list of "Greatest of All Time Country Artists" and recognized Shelton on the chart, ranking him at #50. Shelton also charted on Billboard's list of "Greatest of All Time Country Albums" and "Greatest of All Time Country Songs" with Based on a True Story... taking the position of #51 on the chart and God Gave Me You ranking at #80 on the chart, respectively.Personal life
Shelton married long time girlfriend Kaynette Gern on November 17, 2003. They divorced in 2006.
In 2005, Shelton met fellow country singer Miranda Lambert at the CMT's 100 Greatest Duets Concert. Lambert also sang background vocals on his cover of Michael Bublé's song, "Home", which became a number-one single on the Hot Country Songs chart. On May 9, 2010, after dating for four years, Shelton proposed to Lambert, after seeking (and receiving) her father's blessing. Shelton and Lambert were married on May 14, 2011, in Boerne, Texas.
On January 17, 2012, Shelton's father, Dick, 71, died in Oklahoma, following a period of declining health. Shelton's brother, Richie, died in 1990 when Blake was 14 years old. Blake and Lambert wrote about Richie in Lambert's song, "Over You". The song was named CMA Song of the Year for 2012. It was also named Single Record and Song of the Year at the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards.
In July 2015, Shelton and Lambert announced their divorce. The couple released a statement, "This is not the future we envisioned and it is with heavy heart that we move forward separately. We are real people, with real lives, with real family, friends and colleagues. Therefore, we kindly ask for privacy and compassion concerning this very personal matter." Their divorce was finalized later that same day. In November 2015 it was announced that Shelton had started dating his colleague from The Voice, Gwen Stefani.
In 2015, Forbes estimated Shelton's annual income at $28.5 million.
On a June 6, 2017 HLN special called "Our Journeys Home", Shelton and HLN "Morning Express" host Robin Meade were revealed to be fourth cousins.Discography Main article: Blake Shelton discography
Shelton has been a coach on NBC's The Voice since its inception in 2011, and has won five times – more than any other coach.Season Team finalist(s) Result 1 Dia Frampton Runner-up 2 Jermaine Paul Winner 3 Cassadee Pope