Sure, we all remember his signature mullet and his People magazine “Sexiest Man” cover, but what we remember most and love best is Blake Shelton’s incredible catalog of country music.
Here are our Top 10 country hits.
10. “God’s Country”
The first single from Fully Loaded: God’s Country, the title track seemed to continue the process of peeling back the layers of who Blake Shelton is as an artist. Rugged, raw and edgy, the production of “God’s Country” resembles “Ol’ Red” but on steroids. And, Blake wails on this anthem to owning your roots, no matter what.
The music video for “God’s Country” is a melange of historic black-and-white footage and contemporary clips of Blake, both fighting the elements, but unwavering in their commitment to home.
9. “I’ll Name the Dogs”
At first blush, “I’ll Name the Dogs” sounds as autobiographical as 2016’s “A Guy With a Girl,” but, written by Matt Dragstrem, Ben Hayslip and Josh Thompson, it merely resembles the new lifestyle Blake lives with his superstar girlfriend Gwen Stefani also much like “a Guy With a Girl.”
Utterly charming and completely country, as only Blake can do, “I’ll Name the Dogs” continues to remind fans that this artist’s heart and soul are still firmly embedded in country music, no matter who he is with or what his address is. Blake has found his comfort zone in playing the narrator or performer in his music videos and while it’s been a year or 20 since he was a wedding band, he happily provides the groove to this wedding reception. And can we talk about plot twists?
8. “Savior’s Shadow”
The spotlight can be hard for reluctant celebrities, but Blake Shelton seemed to want to remind the public that he’s just a good ol’ God-fearing Oklahoma boy when he co-wrote “Savior’s Shadow” with Jessi Alexander and Jon Randall. More gospel hymn than contemporary praise, it harkens to the small town church music Blake grew up singing.
With such a strong message, it’s no wonder that Blake and his team scaled back the music video to keep the focus on the uplifting nature of the lyrics. Perched on a stool, strumming a guitar, the texture of the video comes in the richness of the harmonies that fade in and out, wrapping around Blake’s sincere vocal.
We had heard love songs from Blake, and we had heard power ballads, but when it came to pure, unadulterated sex appeal, nothing showcased that side of Blake the way the J.T. Harding, Josh Osborne and Trevor Rosen penned hit, “Sangria” did.
Lyrically dripping with booze-infused imagery, the music video, with Blake as the narrator, does it’s best to keep up without setting censors on their ear.
6. “Boys ‘Round Here”
If Blake ever made a foray into bro-country or the micro-format of country-rap, it was with the hilariously tongue-in-cheek nod to his hometown squad in “Boys ‘Round Here.”
Written by Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson and Craig Wiseman, the music video for “Boys ‘Round Here” highlights many of the stereotypes of life in the country from porch parties to jacked-up pick-up trucks to yard cows. And when the door opens to a group of urban visitors, it serves as a reminder that diversity is welcome and to not take it all so seriously.
5. “God Gave Me You”
Blake didn’t deviate far from writer Dave Barnes’ original rendition of “God Gave Me You” when he covered the song in 2011, yet he still managed to make this bona fide power ballad feel like his own. But that had become par for the country star who was committed to recording and releasing music that embraced who he was as an artist and a person.
Although the music video is bookended with messages from Blake’s now ex-wife, Miranda Lambert, the message is still sweet, tender and timeless as the story is told in vignettes of everyday life.
4. “Honey Bee”
It feels like this Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip penned hit was a catalyst for Blake Shelton, but it was actually one element in the year that also included the release of the multi-platinum album, Red River Blue, and the kick-off to Blake’s lengthy tenure on NBC’s The Voice.
And finally, the rest of the world would know what country music had known for years. The music video for “Honey Bee” played up Blake’s affected awkward and goofy personality as he attempted to win the heart and purchase all of the inventory from the local honey purveyor.
Can Blake Shelton sing adult contemporary music? Not only did he cover this hit originally performed and co-written by Michael Bublé along with Alan Chang, Amy Foster-Gillies, but he also took his mildly countrified rendition to the top of the country singles’ chart. The final single from his Pure BS album, a rewrite of the song is on Blake’s holiday collection, Cheers, It’s Christmas.
Blake’s role in the music video is that of a pensive touring musician, envious of airport reunions and eager to return to the arms that love him. Twelve years old and it will still put a lump in your throat.
2. “Ole Red”
Just his third career single, as well as the final release from his self-titled debut, “Ole Red” was written by James “Bo” Bohon, Don Goodman, Mark Sherrill and was originally recorded by George Jones. That love of the legends of country music would be a theme that continues throughout Blake’s career.
The music video for “Ole Red” also showed how comfortably Blake seemed to be growing into his role as a rising star since it required him to flex a bit of acting muscle.
Written by David Kent and Kirsti Manna, “Austin” was the world’s introduction to Blake Shelton. It was his first single from his self-titled, debut album and its chart-topping success fortified Blake’s bid as a future superstar. The music video for “Austin” was an imaging piece that could have easily been a foreshadowing of the fresh-faced country star’s magazine cover future.