Blake Shelton says he’s a ‘student’ of country music

There is a deep respect in country music for the performers who created the genre and have continued to shape it over the decades. That’s why you see icons like Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire – now legends in their own right – paying homage to artists like Loretta Lynn.

Blake Shelton may not have reached Dolly Parton status yet, but he’s on the right track. The country star has released 12 studio albums and over 50 singles, more than half of which have reached No. 1 on the country music charts.

Blake Shelton | Todd Williamson/Getty Images

He’s now spent more than two decades in the country music spotlight and shot to another stardom by being the top-earning judge on NBC. The voicewhere he has been a judge since the show debuted in 2011. And while talent may have taken him far, Shelton said it was his study of country music that set him up for success.

Shelton moved to Nashville as a teenager

Shelton was born in Ada, Oklahoma, and grew up a country music fan, thanks in part to his older brother Richie, who died in 1990 in a car crash. Shelton considered his brother a hero and took his fandom from Hank Williams Jr., Waylon Jennings, Bob Seger, and more, according to The Boot.

By the age of 16, Shelton was playing on the local bar circuit and won the Denbo Diamond Award, a prestigious award for young artists in her home country, reports Biography. After graduating from high school, Shelton moved to Nashville to pursue her country music dreams.

He began by selling songs he had written to record labels around town and eventually landed a solo recording contract. In 2001, he released his first single, “Austin”, which rose to number one on the country music charts.

He became a “student” of the industry and how it works

During a recent interview at the 2022 Country Radio Seminar, Shelton said his perspective on his career has largely grown by studying the ins and outs of his creation as a country artist.

“I’ve always been such a student of country music: the country music industry and the artists and how it works and its history – at least the history that interests me, which is like the ‘In the years 80,” Shelton said during the interview.

The “Ol’ Red” artist went on to say that, in large part, it informed his perspective on the lifespan of music careers and wanted to make sure he made room for young performers the time comes. However, this student approach is probably why it has also been so successful over the past two decades.

Shelton counts Hank Williams Jr. and Earl Thomas Conley as inspirations

Shelton counts several country music legends among his inspirations. He’s been known to tip his hat to George Strait and Garth Brooks, but many of his favorite sources of inspiration date back to before those two graced country music scenes in the 1990s. -answers with People in 2014, Shelton said his all-time favorite song was “A Country Boy Can Survive” by Hank Williams Jr.

“It covers everything for my lifestyle,” Shelton said at the time. “I try to think of myself as an outlaw, a badass. And this song covers it all. In the same interview and others since then, Shelton also paid tribute to Earl Thomas Conley, another country great who helped Shelton write “All Over Me”, his second hit single.

“He has a song called ‘What I’d Say’ that really takes me back,” Shelton told People in a separate interview.

“I was listening to this stuff a million times, just by myself in my studio in Nashville, just trying to sing it. I wanted to sing like him, because I knew that if I could, maybe I could do it one day.

He doesn’t write many songs anymore, but Gwen Stefani says he has an ear for hits

Shelton gives credit where it’s due, but he’s now earned the right to be the next generation’s guide. As a trainer on The voice for the 21 seasons so far, members of Shelton’s teams have won the singing competition eight times, making him the most successful coach in the show’s history, according to NBC.

Although he didn’t write songs as often as he did at the start of his career, his wife, Gwen Stefani, said he was still a trusted collaborator and source of criticism when working on her own. new music.

“He’s got a really good ear for hits or just songs that we all love,” Stefani said, according to Taste of Country. “So, [I] rely on him a lot. As is the case with many icons in their field, it would seem that the student has become one of the masters.

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