Garth Brooks Gets a Lecture From Blake Shelton

Earlier this month, Blake Shelton tweeted some pretty harsh words to Garth Brooks. Harsh in the sense that he was really the only one brave enough to say what the rest of us have been thinking.

“Dear Garth Brooks,” Shelton wrote to his audience of 5.4 million Twitter followers. “For the love of god and all that’s holy, please get your music on iTunes. PLEASE! It’s 2014!!!! #frustratedfan”

For the iTunes-averse among us, maybe that isn’t how they are thinking. But for the rest of us, Shelton has a point. Life would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to lug my Garth Brooks CD collection with me every time I was going somewhere.

After that tweet, Shelton explained himself a little last week during his No. 1 party in Nashville.

“I thought, man, I want to buy, I don’t remember what it was — ‘Shameless’ or something,” he said during a roundtable interview with syndicated radio. “I got on iTunes, and it’s like tribute bands, and it’s like, ‘What?’ So, then I got on Spotify, and it’s not there. It’s not on YouTube. It’s not anywhere.”

Brooks has stood his ground for as long as digital retailers have been around. He says as long as they sell singles, he won’t let his music be sold that way. He has said he wants people to listen to his albums in their entirety.

Shelton said he knows that, but wonders if maybe iTunes could just sell Brooks’ albums only as albums.

“I know Garth’s stance on it, which is he wants people to go buy the album and have the album experience. I still don’t know why you can’t do that on iTunes, too,” he said.

And I feel like Shelton’s plea has merit.

“My ultimate fear is … I’ve had friends tell me that their kids didn’t know who Garth Brooks was, and that upsets me,” he said. “I don’t like that. I think it’s because kids are walking around with their iPhones and their iPods, and if they can’t get it on there, then they probably don’t know it exists.”

Brooks inspired Shelton to be a country singer.

“He’s the reason that I worked a summer and saved up to buy a black Takamine guitar with a cutaway on it,” he said. “He’s that important to me, and I just hate to think that people can’t get their music — get his music whenever they want to.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.