Blake Shelton developed a love for country music through his brother’s Hank Williams Jr. obsession and entered youth beauty pageants just to compete in the talent portions. He and his mullet moved up to playing local honky-tonks before heading to Nashville at 17. After several years of pounding pavement in the country capital and connecting with industry vet Bobby Braddock, Shelton released his debut album in 2001 and scored his first No. 1 with “Austin.” His sophomore effort, The Dreamer, dropped in 2003, the same year he married Kaynette Williams. The marriage had gone belly up by the time he paired with Miranda Lambert for the 2005 CMT special “100 Greatest Duets.” Their connection was immediate and soon after she moved a few miles down the road from him. To promote his fifth CD, 2008's Startin’ Fires, the “Hillbilly Bone” crooner hit the road with his future bride. (They got engaged with matching guns in 2010, a busy year for Shelton as he finally won his first ACM award, was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and nabbed male vocalist of the year at the CMAs. He started his bromance with fellow coach Adam Levine on “The Voice” in 2011 and has mentored his talent successfully to the top three times. He exchanged vows with Lambert in Texas in May 2011 and shared the 2012 song of the year trophy with her at the CMAs for “Over You.” His latest CD, Based On A True Story, won album of the year at the 2013 CMAs, where he and his boo took home matching best vocalist trophies.
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