Blake Shelton is gearing up to hit the road again this year–following more than a year without touring due to the COVID-19 pandemic–as he revives his Friends and Heroes Tour for 2021. However, the trek’s 17 tour dates, which begin in August, are far from the lengthy tour outings Shelton did earlier in his career.
The country superstar and The Voice coach recently told Kelleigh Bannen that his limited touring is by design. As part of an interview with Today’s Country Radio on Apple Music Country, Shelton recounted how, in 2012 as he was beginning the second season of The Voice, he struggled to balance his work on the music competition with a hefty touring schedule.
“I was touring full time, or as much as I could, and it became too much, it was too much for me personally,” Shelton said. “I mean, there was never a day off. It was just crazy, and I started resenting touring a little bit. I was like, ’Oh my God, what is the point, what are we doing? I’m not enjoying it anymore.'”
Shelton decided to scale back his tour, and added that since 2013, he estimates he’s played around 25 concerts per year.
“That’s obviously not very many for any artist that is trying to maintain that touring profile,” he says. “But what it has done is, it’s kept me so excited about when I go on stage now. It’s like, ’Hey, we get to go be country stars this month.’ And it’s so exciting, and it’s something that I look forward to, I really do.”
Shelton will welcome Lindsay Ell, Martina McBride, Tracy Byrd and Trace Adkins for shows on the upcoming tour, and fans will likely see Shelton perform tracks from his recently-released album Body Language, including his current single, “Minimum Wage.”