With the the 2022 CMT Music Awards around the corner, I was reminded of this moment from a few years ago when Blake Shelton basically shit on all of these corny awards shows that country music is desperately trying to keep alive.
Amid plummeting ratings, the ACMs moving to streaming, and then just the downright lack of actual country music, they’ve been getting worse and worse every year.
So Blake calling out country music awards shows in the midst of accepting an award on one of the shittier country music awards shows… you gotta love it.
Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani took home the CMT Music Award for Collaborative Video of the Year for their duet of “Nobody But You,” beating out the likes of Justin Bieber and Dan + Shay in the process.
And while they both appeared to be shocked that they won, it was Blake’s acceptance speech that left Gwen with an even more surprised look on her face:
“First of all, thank you to the fans… and I really do believe that these awards shows are beginning to lose credibility over the last few years, and fan-voted awards, to me, are really the only stand-up awards shows left in our industry it feels like sometimes.
Because you guys are the ones that buy the records, you come to the shows, and you vote on these things.”
And right after wrapping that up, he whipped out a nice vodka martini and continued thanking CMT and the fans once again for getting them the W.
I imagine this wasn’t exactly the kind of acceptance speech people were expecting from Blake, especially the folks over at the Country Music Association, but I can’t say I disagree on the credibility aspect.
How can any country music awards show not have Tyler Childers involved and still be credible? Although, I’m just not quite sure what Blake’s reasoning would be.
Granted, Blake hasn’t won awards like he did during that 2010-2015 stretch when he was cleaning up everything, but he won an ACM in 2020, and a CMA Award in 2019 for “God’s Country,” (along with other nominations). So with all that in mind, I don’t want to simply chalk this comment up to bitterness because I don’t know if that’s it.
Is Blake fed up with the awards industry for other reasons? Is he looking for more traditional country? Is talking about the politics of it all? It’s anybody’s guess…
But also, let’s not forget that you’re winning a CMT Music Video Award for a song you did with your pop singer girlfriend… fan-voted or not, if we’re talking about credibility, this ain’t it man…
Either way, it was one of the more interesting moments of the night (there weren’t many), and hopefully we’ll get to hear Blake elaborate more on it soon.
Blake Shelton Reflects On Past 20 Years In Country Music
The country music star and longtime The Voice judge has built himself quite the career in the country music. Cranking out radio hit after hit, #1 album after #1 album, he’s got a number of Ol’ Red Bars, he’s got a big-ass house in Los Angeles now… for a while, he was the biggest thing in country music.
Personally, I think it all went south when he cut off the mullet, but hey, it could be a lot worse.
But now, at 45 years old… the better years of Blake’s career are in the rearview mirror, and he knows it. And rather than dragging it out as long as he can… he’s gonna hang it up on his own terms.
In a Country Radio Seminar interview with Country Countdown USA’s Lon Helton, Blake admitted that he’s aware that the clock is ticking and that his time might almost be up.
In fact, he prepared for it a long time ago:
“I’ve always been prepared for when this ends and my song doesn’t get played anymore, and it’s over… it’s always over at some point. I’ve always been prepared for that and I’ve braced myself for it. I learned to accept it a few years ago, maybe three or four or five years ago that it’s coming.
The clock is ticking…people are going to get tired of you winning the awards. They’re going to get tired of you having number one, after number one, after number one, and they may not be mad at you, but they’ve already got two or three of your albums. How many albums do I need by Blake Shelton?”
He went on to say that the moment he stops feeling relevant, that’s the moment he’ll stop making records:
“And you have to be honest with yourself and you can’t believe that this is going to go on forever because it’s not, so to answer your question, I want to make great records and the moment that I feel like I’m really not that relevant anymore, I don’t think I want to make them anymore.
The clock’s ticking… I’m not somebody that’s ever going to beat my head against the wall, because this room, these people, this industry has given me way, way more than I ever deserved, and I know that and I’m thankful and I’m proud of that.”
But at the end of the day, Blake has accomplished everything he’s set out to accomplish in this business and more (more than anyone really can hope to), and even if it all ended tomorrow, he says he’d be nothing but grateful:
“When it’s my time to make room for somebody else, the last thing I want to do is keep them screaming to keep my spot because, you played that video from 20 years ago, I’m still here now…. so whenever that is, look, there’s not one complaint that I could have.
I don’t wanna sell out stadiums, I don’t care about that, I don’t care about winning awards… my award is when I look back at the last 20 years of my life and say, ‘man, how the fuck did that just happen?'”
So, how long before Blake actually retires? It’s hard to say…
His most recent album Body Language (terrible title in my opinion) was his first not to top the charts since 2011, so it may be the beginning of the end.
That being said, he’s still selling out arenas, still on The Voice, and just about every song he puts out goes #1. So… I’d say he still has a few years left in the tank.
Still, for my money… that debut single was the best song he ever put out: