The Event Center at Harrah's Cherokee
This is Blake Shelton’s moment. After a steady rise into the front ranks of the country music world, he has emerged as an across-the-board superstar. For longtime fans, that journey has been one of the most compelling and gratifying show business stories of recent years.
The accomplishments are many. Beginning with 2008’s “Home,” Blake has released eleven #1 singles, including an incredible seven in a row, with “Honey Bee,” “God Gave Me You” and “Over” among them. “Honey Bee” sat atop the charts for four weeks, becoming the biggest first-week seller ever for a solo male country artist, and tallying over a million digital sales. Blake is the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, has three, consecutive CMA Male Vocalist of the Year honors, and two ACM Male Vocalist of the Year honors. He has earned three Grammy nominations and has his first sold-out arena tour, 2012’s “Well Lit and Amplified” extravaganza, behind him. Along the way, he has earned more than a dozen gold and platinum albums and singles.
What country fans have long known, the rest of the world learned with The Voice, the NBC blockbuster from which Blake has emerged as “the breakout star,” according to no less a source than The New York Times.
The Times states, “he’s becoming the most important and visible ambassador from Nashville to the American mainstream.” It is a sentiment shared by many, including 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."
His stock in trade on The Voice combines broad musical knowledge with heartfelt compassion for his singing team and the kind of charisma few people in any medium possess, built on rugged good looks, undeniable charm and an irreverence that is at once edgy and endearing.
The bottom line, though, is the music. The Times said his music, as represented in Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton, “holds up against the catalog of any other country artist of the last decade.” Whether it’s his latest studio album, Red River Blue, or his first holiday album, Cheers, it’s Christmas, released in the fall of 2012, Blake has proven he can make music that touches the heart, the soul and the funny bone.
His versatility is evident in the wide range of singles he has made his own since his first, “Austin,” first brought him to national attention. He has given us 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."
The four #1 singles from Red River Blue confirm the obvious—that Blake remains at the top of his game. He has proven himself to be one of the genre’s most versatile and accomplished vocalists, and his skills as an entertainer are apparent every time he takes the stage and carries fans on one of music's most enjoyable journeys.
If the success that has grown out of those skills 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."
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."
It is high and richly deserved praise for a singer with a richly deserved spot in the upper reaches of the entertainment world.
Find Your Favorites Performing At Any Of Our Casinos