Blake Shelton was born on June 18, 1976, in Ada, Okla. He wrote songs as a teenager and honed his performing style as he played honky-tonk bars and became a regular on a local country music show.
At 17, Shelton met songwriter Mae Boren Axton (“Heartbreak Hotel”). She had returned to her Oklahoma roots for a tribute show honoring her in Ada. Shelton was part of the entertainment lineup and Axton told him to move to Nashville if he wanted a successful country music singing career. Two weeks out of high school in 1994, he packed his guitar and headed there.
In 1997, he was co-writing with a friend who tipped off songwriter/producer Bobby Braddock, who co-wrote the standards “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” and “Time Marches On,” among others. Braddock ultimately served as the producer for Shelton’s self-titled debut on Warner Bros. Nashville. His debut single, “Austin,” stayed at No. 1 on Billboard’s singles chart for five weeks, tying Billy Ray Cyrus’ record for a debut single. Shelton also reached No. 1 for three weeks with “The Baby” in 2003. He spent most of the year on the road with Toby Keith and married his high school sweetheart. They divorced in 2006.
In 2004, he released the studio album Blake Shelton’s Barn & Grill, which included the hits “Some Beach,” “Goodbye Time” and “Nobody But Me.”