Remember When Blake Shelton Made His Grand Ole Opry Debut?


Blake Shelton has gone on to become one of the biggest stars in country music, but at the time of his Grand Ole Opry debut on May 5, 2001, he was just another aspiring country singer looking for his big break.

Shelton had released his debut single, “Austin,” just weeks earlier on April 16, and that’s the song he performed for his big moment in the spotlight on the hallowed stage. No video footage of that moment is publicly available, and it wasn’t one of those legendary a-star-is-born moments that go down in country music history. In fact, Shelton himself professes not to remember much about that night.

“I sang “Austin” and … that’s all I remember,” Shelton tells CMT. “I remember thinking, ‘Man, this is my shot.’ The song might have been in the 50s [on the charts] at that point. It had been out for maybe two weeks. And I just remember thinking, ‘Here it is, here’s my song.’ There’s no telling what else I did — probably threw up.”

“Austin” ended climbing the charts steadily over the next few months, finally peaking at No. 1 on Aug. 11, 2001. It remained at the top of Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart for five weeks, launching Shelton as one of country music’s brightest new stars.

Shelton went on to a dizzying string of hits over the next few years that included “Ol’ Red,” “The Baby,” “Some Beach” and more, and in more recent years he raised his public profile well outside the country music genre by appearing as a coach on The Voice. Shelton became a full-fledged member of the Grand Ole Opry in October 2010.

Blake Shelton’s Winners From ‘The Voice’: Where Are They Now?

How many of the nine Team Blake winners from The Voice can you name? Blake Shelton is the show’s winningest coach, and several have had hits at country radio and beyond. Several more have shifted genres, changed their name or just flat-out gone missing. Here is the latest on every Team Blake winner from The Voice.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

Blake Shelton + Gwen Stefani: A Timeline of Their Love

From an unlikely, cross-genre pairing to one of country music’s hottest “it” couples, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani have been on quite the journey together since they first met back in 2014 on the set of The Voice. Here is a look back at their fairy tale love story in pictures.

10 Blake Shelton Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

In this list of 10 things you didn’t know about Blake Shelton, you’ll learn what the singer thought of his ’90s mullet, what his pet peeves are, what songs he sang when he entered pageants as a kid (yes, really!) and more.

Top Blake Shelton Songs: His Greatest Hits + Best Deep Cuts

Taste of Country staff opinion, and the commercial success of tracks from Shelton’s 12 studio albums were certainly considered in making this list of the top Blake Shelton songs. More than anything, we sought fan input, via sales and direct input. What’s your favorite Blake Shelton song, and does it agree with our No. 1?

Below are the The Voice coach’s 50 best songs. Lyrical integrity and production were also considered in this ranking. Really it’s hard to argue against any of the Top 5, but we understand if there’s a debate about placement. Heck, we encourage it!





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