Happy anniversary! Today country superstar Blake Shelton celebrates 20 years of the song that started it all: his debut single “Austin.” To commemorate the occasion, Shelton has launched the pre-order for a limited-edition vinyl of the star-making track (HERE). As it did back in 2001, the special 7” record also features B-side track “Problems At Home.”
“Every time I go on stage and play “Austin” it’s like a reminder,” Shelton said. “It doesn’t matter how long it’s been around. The way crowds respond to it… it’s like, ‘Oh yeah.’ They hear that intro and know every single word and sing it as loud as they can. I think it represents a return to a certain time in people’s lives. I know, for me, this song is why I have a job. And I couldn’t be more grateful for it.”
Fast forward to 2021 and the now chart-topping, Platinum-selling, award-winning entertainer has notched 28 chart-topping singles and is on the verge of releasing his 12th studio album. Body Language is due May 21 and includes 12 tracks, including No. 1 duet “Happy Anywhere” (featuring Gwen Stefani). The album also features current hit single “Minimum Wage” (listen HERE). Praised for having lyrics that are “spitfire sharp” and a vocal delivery full of “edgy passion” (MusicRow), the “bonafide winner” (Billboard) is Top 20 and climbing at radio. He will perform a medley of “Minimum Wage” and “Austin” this Sunday, April 18 at the 56th ACM Awards at 8:00pm/7:00c on CBS.
With more than five billion on-demand streams, 11 million career album sales in the U.S. – so far – and award wins nearing the hundreds, Shelton has cemented his place in country music history. Beyond his country music career, the multimedia entertainer has earned widespread recognition as a seven-time champion coach for the Emmy Award-winning television show The Voice. The NBC singing competition is serendipitously in its 20th season. Shelton, a long-time Grand Ole Opry member, has also found success in his Ole Red partnership with Ryman Hospitality, with restaurant and venue locations currently in Tishomingo, Nashville, Gatlinburg and Orlando.