Blake Shelton is an American vocalist, lyricist, and TV persona who initially gained popularity as a well-known national performer and afterward found widespread success as a mentor on the musical TV program The Voice. But what was his first ever song?
Blake Shelton’s first song was ‘Austin’ released in 2001 under Giant Records. It’s a love song that narrates the events of how Shelton realized that his childhood sweetheart loved another guy and not him.
Read more below about how Shelton made his breakthrough in the music industry and the extraordinary people who helped him along the way, including the ‘Queen Mother of Nashville,’ Mae Axton.
The Evolution of Shelton
As the son of a used-car dealer and the owner of a beauty salon, Shelton began composing lyrics and singing while he was still transitioning through high school. It took a few performances before Shelton attracted the attention of the late famed songstress, Mae Boren Axton.
Upon graduation from high school, Shelton made a 670 mile move from his hometown of Ada in Oklahoma to the capital of Tennessee in Nashville to enable him to work more closely with Axton who had by then established herself as the ‘Queen Mother of Nashville.’ Following his arrival, Axton introduced Shelton to various individuals working in the music industry at the time. Just three years after arrival in Nashville, Shelton had met the music producer and ‘Did You Ever?’ singer, Bobby Braddock, who’d later introduce him to his first record name Giant Records.
Prior to the release of ‘Austin’, Shelton said: “It’s real important for me to have a Top 10 record at some point in my career. And that’s about as long-term as it gets for me right now. I’m really, really concentrating on this single and this current album. That’s about as far as I can see right now.”
In spring of 2001, Shelton released his first ever song ‘Austin’ under Giant Records. The ballad was inspired by his childhood crush who’d fallen for a guy named Bird instead of him. Despite how Shelton hadn’t truly established himself at the time of his first song’s release, he still produced a chart-topping hit which reached Billboard’s country singles chart peaking at number one.
So, everything went to plan with Shelton’s first single because he didn’t just make the top ten, he shot right to the highest charting position! If you ask me, that’s pretty extraordinary since it was his first song and he hadn’t even made an established name out of himself at that stage.
Following the release of his first single, the record label Shelton was signed with, fell through and went out of business. That event only produced another opportunity for Shelton that led to Warner Records signing him in that same year.
2001 was a busy year for Shelton. In the summer of 2001, in July, (which was the end of the first month that Shelton was signed with Warner) he had released his first self-titled debut album Blake Shelton on July 31, 2001 under the new record label.
An Award Winning Country Music Singer
Almost two decades into his career, in 2020, out of his 40 singles, Shelton has achieved 27 number one positions on the Billboard charts. Discussing this massive accomplishment with Billboard in 2017, Shelton said, “All I’ve ever wanted to be is a country singer, and having a No. 1 song is thrilling. Thank you to the fans for supporting me and being part of this journey. And a special salute to the first responders and the servicemen and women, who allow us to celebrate freedom.”
What’s unmistakable is that Shelton has conspicuous abilities and talents and he possesses a ground-breaking voice which has brought him to the point of receiving multiple Grammy nominations.