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Just out of high school, Warner Bros. recording artist Blake Shelton left Oklahoma to move to Nashville. Back home at only 16 years old, Shelton had received statewide attention when he won the Denbo Diamond Award, the top award for young Oklahoma entertainers. In Nashville, Shelton was able to get several songs published with Naomi Martin Music, Warner/Chappell Music, and Jerry Crutchfield Music. He turned his songwriting into a successful recording in 2001 with his debut single, "Austin"; the song eventually spent five weeks at number one. "All Over Me" and "Ol' Red" followed in 2002, enabling Shelton's album to go gold. His star power was on the rise, and he was as busy as ever. He wasted no time recording a sophomore release. The Dreamer appeared in February 2003, hot on the heels of the Top Ten single "The Baby." A third album, Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill, was released in 2004, along with a DVD, Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill: A Video Collection. In 2007, he released the cleverly titled Pure BS on Warner, followed by Startin' Fires in 2008. In March of 2010, Shelton made the unconventional step of recording and issuing a six-song release (that he thumb|300px|right|Blake Shelton - Honey Beecalled a "SIX PAK"), entitled Hillbilly Bone, and followed it in August with another entitled All About Tonight; the title track hit the Top Ten on Billboard's country chart. Shelton hit the number one spot on both Billboard and Mediabase's charts with his single "Honey Bee," which took the record for the fastest download single to be certified Gold by the RIAA; it eventually sold over a million copies. It was his fourth straight number one single and ninth overall. This was the lead single to Red River Blue produced by Scott Hendricks, which was released in the summer of 2011.
2011 was a big year for Shelton in other ways, too. On April 3, he co-hosted the Academy of Country Music awards show with Reba McEntire. Later that month, he became a judge and vocal coach for the NBC-TV talent series, The Voice, a show that gave him enormous exposure, and on May 14, he married longtime fiancée and fellow country artist Miranda Lambert.
At the 2011 CMA Awards in November, Blake won Male Vocalist of the Year. At the second annual American Country Awards in December, he picked up Video of the Year for "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking".thumb|300px|right|Blake Shelton - Who Are You When I'm Not Looking Blake serves as a coach on the NBC hit "The Voice". In season 1, his contestant came in second place. He returned to the show for the second season in 2012. Blake also picked up another ACM win for Male Vocalist of the Year in 2012.
The world has finally learned what country fans have known since the beginning—Blake Shelton is superstar material.
Blake is the breakout star of NBC's The Voice, a show that gave the handsome Oklahoman the spotlight his fans have long hoped he'd get. Week after week, millions have gotten to see the talent and charisma that have made Blake one of country music's brightest lights.
Perhaps no one summed it up better than Entertainment Weekly editor-at-large Ken Tucker, who cited Blake's "steady transformation into a real TV star, a country sage whose charm is squarely in the great TV traditions of Roger Miller, Jimmy Dean, and Tennessee Ernie Ford." thumb|300px|right|Blake Shelton - Hillbilly Bone (feat. Trace Adkins)
None of that is news to those who have watched Blake's career unfold. Ever since the power and drama of his 2001 debut single, "Austin," brought him to national attention, Blake has proven himself to be one of the genre's most versatile and accomplished vocalists as well as one of its most compelling entertainers.
His versatility is evident in the wide range of singles he has made his own. He has proven his ability with the stark drama of "The Baby" and "Home," the honest regret of "She Wouldn't Be Gone," the warm intimacy of "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking," the celebration of the moment in "All About Tonight, and the over-the-top fun of "Hillbilly Bone." His skill as an entertainer is apparent every time he takes the stage and carries fans on one of music's most enjoyable journeys.
The first single from his latest CD, "Honey Bee," found the lanky superstar-next-door rising to a now-familiar spot—the #1 position on the country singles charts, which he has reached with six of his last seven singles. "Honey Bee" only hinted at the riches inside Red River Blue. thumb|300px|right|Blake Shelton - Home
Blake's latest runs the gamut of everything he does well, from the romance of "Over," with its big chorus and passionate vocals, and "God Gave Me You," a powerful ode to the restorative powers of love, to the clever wordplay and pure country fun of "Hey" and "Get Some." There is also "Ready To Roll," a laid-back celebration of love and leisure, "Good Ole Boys," with its echoes of Waylon and its nod to country boys in a hip-hop world, "I'm Sorry," which displays one of the biggest voices in the genre closing the door on a love gone wrong, and the title track, a classic-sounding look at separation and longing with guest vocals from none other than Miranda Lambert.
If it sounds like more than even a dreamer like Blake could have envisioned, you'll get no argument from the man himself.
"If you'd have told me a few years back that my life would be this good," he says, "I'd have told you that you were crazy. But I'll damn sure take it." thumb|300px|right|Blake Shelton - God Gave Me You
The journey has been a testament to the talent, the persistence and the sheer dynamism Blake brings to the table. He left Ada, Oklahoma, at 17, two weeks out of high school, for Nashville after encouragement from legendary songwriter ("Heartbreak Hotel") Mae Axton. He met and worked with another legend—Bobby Braddock ("He Stopped Loving Her Today")—and earned a deal on Giant Records. It would be several years before that led to a contract with Warner Bros. and "Austin," which launched his career. Since then, his star power, world-class voice and irreverent personality have brought him the acclaim that has translated so well from the world of country music to a wider audience.
"I'm still learning, still reaching and growing," he says, "and it's great to have more and more people along for the ride."
Tucker again sums up the Shelton magic.
"Like all first-rate pop singers, country or otherwise," Tucker writes, "he knows that the best way to impress an audience is by making something difficult look easy."
Speaking of his stint on The Voice, he adds, "Just watching him, the contestants got a lesson in how to comport yourself on stage, and, perhaps, in life."
2012 Grammy NominationsEdit
|Blake Shelton||"Austin"||"All Over Me"||"Ol' Red"|
|The Dreamer||"The Baby"||"Heavy Liftin'"||"Playboys of a Southwestern World"|
|Blake Shelton's Barn and Grill||"When Somebody Knows You That Well"||"Some Beach"||"Goodbye Time"||"Nobody But Me"|
|Pure BS||"Don't Make Me"||"The More I Drink"||"Home"|
|Startin' Fires||"She Wouldn't Be Gone"||"I'll Just Hold On"|
|Hillbilly Bone||"Hillbilly Bone" (with Trace Adkins)|
|All About Tonight||"All About Tonight"||"Who Are You When I'm Not Looking"|
|Red River Blue||"Honey Bee"||"God Gave Me You"||"Drink On It"||"Over"|
|Based On A True Story||"Sure Be Cool If You Did"||"Boys Round Here"||"Mine Would Be You"||"Doin' What She Likes"||"My Eyes" (with Gwen Sebastian)|
|Bringing Back The Sunshine||"Neon Light"||"Lonely Tonight" (with Ashley Monroe)|
|Featured Singles||"Just A Fool" (with Christina Aguilera) with her album Lotus"||"Medicine" (with Shakira) with her album Shakira|