The Transformation Of Blake Shelton From 27 To 44 Years Old

Blake Shelton is one of country music's most famous singer-songwriters and has been topping the charts for over two decades. But long before his rise to fame, the "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking" hitmaker was a 16-year-old kid playing in bars in his home state of Oklahoma with big dreams of becoming a star, per Biography. His hard work paid off when he was awarded the "the top award for young entertainers" in the Sooner State, the Denbo Diamond Award. By 1994, Shelton, fresh out of high school, tried his hand at becoming a songwriter in Nashville.

But it wasn't until 2001 when Shelton debuted on the charts. However, like they say, all good things come to those who wait. According to Billboard, his debut single, "Austin," peaked at No. 18 on the Hot 100 and reached the No. 1 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart. Shelton was on his way to superstardom, and nothing was going to stop him. In an interview with The Country Daily at the time, he explained that his sudden rise to fame was "crazy" and "weird," adding, "I've been in Nashville for seven years, I moved here in June of '94, and the whole time has been sitting around and hoping and waiting and praying, and just nothing going on whatsoever. Now all of a sudden we can't even keep up with the thing, it's happening so fast."

Let's dig further into Blake Shelton's transformation from the early days of his career to where he is today.

Blake Shelton was no one-hit wonder

The music industry has seen singers come and go. Their first song takes off, but they fail to maintain that success. For Blake Shelton, it seems he never had that problem. According to Billboard, he has racked up 33 top 10 hits and an impressive 14 No. 1's on the Hot Country Songs chart. As of April 2021, Shelton has released 11 studio albums, two of which have topped the Billboard 200. Not only that, but many of his singles and albums have been certified platinum by RIAA, due to selling over 1 million copies in the U.S. alone.

After years of victory, a number of high-profile musicians wanted a slice of Shelton. In 2012, he teamed up with powerhouse vocalist Christina Aguilera and Latin superstar Shakira in 2014. In 2019, Shelton collaborated with fellow country singer Garth Brooks and his partner, Gwen Stefani

Despite all the constant success, Shelton is still very humble and grateful for everything. "I don't think there's a word to describe how blessed or fortunate I've been," he told Billboard in December 2020. "I moved to Nashville after I graduated high school hoping to hear just one of my songs on country radio." Turns out, he's since heard dozens.

He married fellow country singer Miranda Lambert

For those who don't already know, Blake Shelton had already been married prior to walking down the aisle with fellow country singer Miranda Lambert. According to Country Fan Cast, he exchanged vows with his high school sweetheart, Kaynette Williams, at a small ceremony in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in 2003. Three years later, however, the pair got a divorce. 

Shelton later found love in Lambert and tied the knot with the Grammy Award winner in May 2011. As reported by Country Fan Cast, their wedding took place at the Don Strange Ranch in Boerne, Texas. But he was still married to his first wife when he and Lambert met in 2005, according to Pop Culture. "I had seen their wedding picture in Country Weekly," Lambert admitted of the former couple on "Dateline" in 2011 (via E!). "I knew better, like, this is off limits. My parents are private investigators for God's sake. I've seen this my whole life — affairs. Of all people to know better, I know better than this."

With that being said, Shelton and Lambert's marriage unfortunately didn't last either. By 2015, they announced to the world they were getting a divorce in a joint statement. "This is not the future we envisioned," the former couple said in part (via Us Weekly). "And it is with heavy hearts that we move forward separately."

Blake Shelton: The Voice coach

Aside from topping the charts, Blake Shelton is also known for being a coach on NBC's talent show, "The Voice." Many of the coaches have come and gone throughout the history of the show, but Shelton has — so far, at least — been a part of all 20 seasons. Yup, with the first season premiering in 2011, Shelton has been spotted sitting in his red chair for a whole decade.

When discussing "The Voice's" evolution in 2021 with PopSugar, Shelton got candid about what he originally thought of the show's format. "I can't speak for others — well, I speak for Adam [Levine] — Both of us thought the show was pretty ridiculous," he admitted. However, as Shelton went on to add, "But at the same time ... I think I needed a job, so it was like, 'Yes, Christina Aguilera is doing it, I'll do it.'"

It was undoubtedly a smart career move for Shelton, who only has fond things to say about the experience after 10 years. "Whenever this show ends, they fire me, or something happens, I always look back on it ... I know it was great to participate in it."

The singer-songwriter proposed to superstar Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton met each other in April 2014 while working on "The Voice," according to Billboard. Shelton was still married to Miranda Lambert at the time, and Stefani was still hitched with Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale, but their friendship — and chemistry — continued to blossom. By the following July, Shelton announced he was getting a divorce from Lambert. A month later, Stefani and Rossdale also split. Shelton and Stefani became closer as friends, officially became an item in November 2015, and have remained a high-profile couple ever since. These two have even worked with one another on music. 

In 2017, Shelton featured on Stefani's holiday song, "You Make It Feel Like Christmas," and they teamed up again, achieving two chart-toppers on the Country Airplay chart in 2020, with "Nobody But You" and "Happy Anywhere." They may now be taking a break from songwriting, but after five years together, Shelton finally proposed to Stefani in October 2020. 

"Hey @gwenstefani thanks for saving my 2020... And the rest of my life.. I love you. I heard a YES!" he wrote on Instagram. As of this writing, the couple has yet to tie the knot. However, during an appearance on "Today With Hoda & Jenna" in March 2021, Shelton said he hopes to marry Stefani in the summer. "With COVID-19, it looks like it may be OK, but I don't know. So, that's tentatively the plan. We'll see," he revealed (via ET).

Blake Shelton is about to have a super busy year

Aside from planning his wedding with Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton has a jam-packed year ahead of him, as 2021 will see the country crooner return to "The Voice" as a coach. Along with that, he will also be releasing his 12th studio album, "Body Language," which is scheduled to drop on May 21. It will also mark Shelton's first studio album in four years and will consist of 12 songs, according to Tennessean.

"We've been working on this album on and off for two years now, and I'm very proud of what we have put together," Shelton said in a statement in his press release, per Tennessean. "We certainly had some unique challenges with the pandemic, but we also had a lot of fun. We explored new sounds while making sure to get in some classic country." 

Coming full circle, Shelton also celebrated the 20th anniversary of his debut single, "Austin," at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April 2021 — along with performing his more recent hit, "Minimum Wage," per Taste of Country.