Blake Shelton knows how to deliver a good country song. (He even wrote a song about it.) The Oklahoma native has become a superstar in the genre with his mix of big music, bigger personality and TV stardom. Audiences have fallen in love with Shelton, and if you haven't, you will after checking out our playlist. Here are the ten songs that represent the best of Blake Shelton:
Shelton's first single was also his first number one hit. "Austin" topped Billboard's Country Airplay Chart in 2001, and reached number 18 on the magazine's overall Billboard Hot 100. It was also certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. That's no surprise given how he poured his heart out in this tear-jerker. Both in music and in life, Shelton definitely knows how to make an entrance.
9. "My Eyes"
One of the best things to come out of Shelton's tenure on "The Voice" is that it connected him with Gwen Sebastian, who is now his backup singer. Yet she is also a talented performer in her own right, and "My Eyes" matches them together as equals. The two harmonize wonderfully here and prove that they both have something to offer the genre. This single topped the airplay charts in both the US and Canada. It was also Shelton's twelfth consecutive number-one single.
Country fans know that Shelton loves a good party. Therefore he's a natural at coming up with party songs. He enlisted Trace Adkins for this single that livens up any gathering of country fans or even those who aren't huge lovers of the genre. It's just a great single with which to open up a drink and hug your friends. And seven years later, it still hasn't gotten old.
7. "Some Beach"
"Some Beach" hails from Shelton's hilariously named album Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill. And if you say the title too fast, it can come out wrong. But for its quirky origins, the song is Shelton's version of Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville." This is the single you play when you've partied too long and just need to chill out. It's relaxing but it still has the singer's recognizable twang, and that just makes it perfect.
For all his jokes, there's a tender side to Shelton as well, just one that we don't see as often. "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking" is an example of that. The song went Platinum six years ago with a very simple arrangement of lyrics, guitar and not much else. So many of Shelton's songs are big in style and sound, and sometimes his actual vocal talent can get swallowed up in that. But this single, as well as "Home," allowed him to dial it back and the audience to recall why they became fans in the first place.
Here's our sleeper pick. "Bringing Back The Sunshine" is the title track from Shelton's most recent studio album. In 2015 it also served as the theme song for NBCSN's NASCAR coverage. That's because it's a ray of sunshine itself. From start to finish, this song is full of energy and full of so much to offer the listener. It's easily one of the best tracks on the album; if only it had gotten to be recognized as such.
Several years ago, Shelton covered Michael Buble's hit "Home" and spun it as a country single. You wouldn't think that would be possible, but it worked. Shelton's "Home" became as much a calling card for him as the original did for Buble. In fact, they have become friends, with Buble advising Team Blake during one season of "The Voice" and the two performing this song together at a David Foster tribute show. It's impressive when one can flip a song, moreso when it leads to equal success.
3. "Honey Bee"
Shelton's stock has taken a huge leap with the popularity of "The Voice" and he's grown musically in the last five years as well. "Honey Bee" was the initial single from Red River Blue, the first album he released after joining the NBC singing competition. It sounded tremendously different from his past works and marked the start of a fresh direction. "Honey Bee" is not only a great song to listen to, it's one that practically demands to be sung out loud.
Red River Blue's final single was "Over," and it combines two things Shelton is great at: big production and love songs. He gets to hit some interesting notes with the vocals and is also backed up by some equally intriguing instrumentation. It's one of his best performances with the creativity to match. If you really want to see Shelton in ballad mode, this is a great pick. The only question about this song is who let Shelton play with fire for the music video?
"God Gave Me You" is a triumph in every respect. Commend original artist and songwriter Dave Barnes for putting together a perfect ballad. Then applaud Shelton for having the vocal tools and the presence to take it to the next level. Some songs just need a huge artist to hit them out of the park, and Shelton was that artist for this song. Everything about "God Gave Me You" worked, and it won Shelton a whole new audience.
Shelton is currently in the middle of a headlining tour sponsored by Gildan. Tour dates and ticket information can be found here. He will also appear at the Off The Rails Music Festival in Frisco, TX on Apr. 23. Tickets are on sale now at AXS. Fans can keep up with the latest news and information on Blake Shelton at AXS.