Blake Shelton ’s work as a judge and mentor on NBC’s The Voice made him a household word in mainstream America and also led to a major honor as this year’s recipient of the Academy of Country Music’s Gene Weed Special Achievement Award acknowledging “unprecedented, unique and outstanding individual achievement in country music.”
In the meantime, Shelton just released a new album, Based on a True Story … , which features the No. 1 single, “Sure Be Cool If You Did.”
In the second segment of a two-part interview with CMT Hot 20 Countdown co-host Katie Cook, the Oklahoma native talked more about his latest music, his life with wife Miranda Lambert and offered some observations about spending more time in Los Angeles.
Cook: Since the album is called Based on a True Story … , I have to verify some facts that you sing about in these songs. First of all, “Boys Around Here,” you’ve got that fun little rap: “Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit.” But I don’t think I’ve ever seen you chew tobacco. Do you?
Shelton: No, but back in the day, remember when they used to make — and they probably still do — beef jerky that’s shredded and they put it in the cans for kids to act like they’re dipping? I wore some of that out back in the day, especially in elementary school. … Then I did a little Big League Chew. Still do some of that every now and then.
I love “Doin’ What She Likes.” You’re singing about really romantic stuff — lighting candles, making your girl margaritas and everything. Would you consider yourself a romantic in real life?
No, but I do try to do all of those things that the song talks about. But I think that my approach is … I don’t think it’s just the act of making Miranda a drink. I think there probably needs to be some finesse in it or whatever. I’m more like, “Here. This is yours. I made you this.”
What’s the last very romantic thing you did for Miranda?
Well, I don’t know if it’s romantic or not, but I actually thought ahead for Valentine’s Day this year. Because she’s Miranda, what are you going to buy her? You’re not going to buy her anything she doesn’t already have if she wants it. So I left Los Angeles and flew out and spent Valentine’s Day and the entire weekend with her out on the road, out on her tour. We just hung out and had some husband-and-wife time. I never go out on the road with her as much as she comes out with me because I’m trapped in Los Angeles most of the time these days, so it was just perfect. It was a perfect window of time to show how much I care.
In “Mine Would Be You,” there’s a line about having a girl’s name tattooed on your arm. Would you ever actually tattoo Miranda’s name on your arm?
I wouldn’t do that because I think that’s bad luck. It seems like anytime somebody gets a name — unless it’s their child or something — that always seems like a bad idea. But I will say that she and I did get our tattoos together. So that counts a little bit. We actually went together, and that was kind of a date. That’s kind of what a date’s like for Miranda and me.
For “Granddaddy’s Gun,” did you have any hesitation recording a song about an important gun in your life? Guns are such a polarizing topic.
No, I didn’t. In fact, I was adamant about recording that song because no matter where you stand on that issue, that song is about something that’s been in the family for years. It’s not as much about the gun as it is about the relationship between his grandfather and him — the trust that he had and the conversations they had when they were out bird hunting together. He passed the gun down, and that’s what it’s all about for me. No, I don’t care. At this point, if you know anything about me, you know that I’m an outdoorsman, and I was adamant about that song.
In “Small Town, Big Time,” you’re talking all about spending time in Southern California and your time in L.A., but that you prefer to be in the sticks. You have spent so much time out in L.A. now, what is something that you absolutely love about the place?
Come on. Dig deep. The weather?
Ah, yeah. I like the weather, I guess. That would be hard not to. My favorite thing about Los Angeles is there are businesses that you can call, and they will deliver groceries to your house. I’m talking about, “Hey, will y’all go get me a bottle of vodka, a bag of ice and some Doritos? And I’m working on getting one of those medical cards, so y’all can bring me some cookies.” They’ll bring all that stuff right to your house. You don’t even have to leave. I never leave the house when I’m in Los Angeles unless I’m going to The Voice, ever.
Maybe this question is easier to answer. What’s something you hate about L.A.?
Oh, gaw. … I’m having to look around at all the guys here. I’m not that crazy about how some of the men dress in Los Angeles. I mean, I’m not. I think men should wear shoes where if there’s an emergency, they should be able to help. And when guys are walking around in flip-flops or sandals or bowling shoes or whatever in the hell some of that stuff is they’re wearing … I’m thinking, “OK, if there’s a fire, I’ve got to get the women and children and you out of this building. I need you to go put some boots on or something so you can help.” That’s just how I think. I’ve turned into one of those old guys, I know. I realize it.Read the first part of CMT Hot 20 Countdown’s interview with Blake Shelton.