Blake Shelton launched his music career 20 years ago in 2001 with the release of his first single, "Austin." On May 21, 2021, he released his 12th studio album, "Body Language." To celebrate his newest music, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at Blake's life in photos… Blake was born in Ada, Oklahoma, on June 18, 1976, to Dorothy and Richard Shelton. He began singing at 12 and learned how to play the guitar from his uncle. In 1993, following his high school graduation, Blake moved from Ada to Nashville to pursue a music career. Four years later in 1997, he landed his first job at a music publishing company where he met songwriter and producer Bobby Braddock, who would later help him secure a recording deal. A long-haired Blake is seen here early in his career in 2001.
Keep reading for more of the singer-songwriter's photo flashback…
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In 2001, Blake Shelton was signed to Giant Records. His debut single, "Austin," was released on April 16 that year and hit No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. It would go on to also become Blake's highest peaking single for 10 years until the release of "Honey Bee" in 2011. Then, on July 31, 2001, Blake released his self-titled debut album. In addition to "Austin," "Blake Shelton" also featured the singles "All Over Me" and "Ol' Red." The album was certified platinum by the RIAA. Blake's seen here posing at a Chicago nightclub that December.
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On Feb. 4, 2003, Blake Shelton released his second studio album, "The Dreamer," which featured singles "Heavy Liftin," "Playboys of the Southwestern World" and his second Billboard No. 1 hit, "The Baby." The album went on to become certified gold by the RIAA. He's pictured here performing at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, during Toby Keith's "Shock'N Y'all" tour in August 2003.
Wedding bells… take one! On Nov. 17, 2003, rising country star Blake Shelton married longtime girlfriend Kaynette Williams — they reportedly dated in high school — in a small ceremony in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. They're pictured here at the CMA Awards in November 2003 just days before their wedding.
The hits just kept on coming! On Oct. 26, 2004, Blake Shelton released his third studio album, "Blake Shelton's Barn Grill." The album, which included singles "Some Beach," "When Somebody Knows You That Well," "Goodbye Time" and "Nobody but Me," went on to become his second to be certified platinum. He's seen here supporting the album with a performance at the CMA Music Festival in June 2005.
Four years after making his country music debut, Blake Shelton embarked on his first headlining tour! Blake's "Barn and Grill Tour" kicked off in 2005. He's pictured here at the Radio Music Awards in Las Vegas in December that year.
In 2006, Blake Shelton and Kaynette Williams — seen here at one of their final public events together, the CMT Music Awards in April 2005 — called it quits after three years of marriage. In divorce papers, Kaynette accused Blake of "inappropriate marital conduct," a claim many linked to allegations that he had an affair with rising country music star Miranda Lambert while he was a married man.
New hair — and a new woman. Not long after he split from his first wife, Blake Shelton went public with Miranda Lambert in 2006 (they're seen here in 2007). The singers, who met when they were paired up to perform together during CMT's "Greatest Duets" special in September 2005, fell for one another quickly — even though Blake had a wife at home. "I knew he was married," Miranda admitted on "Dateline" in 2011. "I had seen their wedding picture in Country Weekly. 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." Blake shared a similar sentiment during an interview with VH1's "Behind the Music" in 2011. "I've never had that kind of experience with anybody," he admitted. "I was a married guy, you know? Standing up there and singing with somebody and going, 'Man, this shouldn't be happening.' Looking back on that, I was falling in love with her, right there on stage."
Exactly two weeks after releasing his fourth studio album, "Pure BS," Blake Shelton took the stage alongside Joe Nicols to present the vocal group of the year award at the 42nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas in May 2007. The re-released version of "Pure BS," which debuted in 2008 and contained Blake's rendition of the popular Michael Bublé hit "Home," was certified gold by the RIAA.
The first of many! In December 2007, Blake Shelton made a guest appearance on the NBC reality TV competition show "Clash of the Choirs." He's pictured here alongside host Maria Menounos during a live taping in New York City. Little did he know this was only the beginning of a fruitful career involving reality singing competitions…
What a couple! Almost two years after going public with their romance, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert attended the 50th Annual Grammy Awards together in February 2008. That night, Miranda was nominated for best female country vocal performance for "Famous in a Small Town."
Adorable! In May 2008, Blake Shelton proudly introduced girlfriend Miranda Lambert's performance at the 43rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas.
In April 2009, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert took the stage at the Academy of Country Music's "Artist of the Decade" show honoring George Strait. That night, the smitten couple performed George's 1986 country hit "It Ain't Cool To Be Crazy About You."
Does he ever take a break? In March 2010, Blake Shelton dropped his first EP and seventh studio release, "Hillbilly Bone." Its only single was its title track, which featured Trace Adkins. The song was an absolute success: In April 2010, it reached No. 1 on Billboard's country singles chart. Blake and Trace are pictured here on stage at the American Country Awards in Las Vegas in December 2010.
Who knew Blake Shelton would be so good on a game show? He's pictured here in March 2010 during a live taping of CBS's "The Price is Right" celebrating the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.
Here we go… again! On May 9, 2010, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert got engaged! Blake went traditional with his proposal and called Miranda's father, Rick, to ask his permission before getting down on one knee. "He called my dad and got his blessing first," she told People. "That was so Southern and old school and perfect." Even better, Blake also picked out her engagement ring himself. "I was so proud of him," gushed Miranda. "We've been together five years, so he knew exactly what I wanted but it's so much more perfect than I could have picked out myself." Miranda showed off her diamond ring a month later in June 2010 while performing with Blake at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville.
2010 was a big year for the country star. In addition to getting engaged, he released his first greatest hits album, "Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton," that November and was welcomed into the Grand Ole Opry in October. Country star Jeannie Seely introduced Blake while Trace Adkins inducted him. "I get the same feeling when I come to the Opry as when I see one of my heroes," Blake said. "I am in awe. To me, the Grand Ole Opry is an artist and I'm really proud to be one of its songs."
At the 44th Annual Country Music Association Awards in November 2010, Blake Shelton took home the trophy for male vocalist of the year. He beat out fellow country stars Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, George Strait and Keith Urban.
Another milestone in Blake Shelton's already impressive career as a country star? His first Grammy nomination! At the 2011 Grammy Awards, a 34-year-old Blake was up for best country collaboration with vocals for "Hillbilly Bone." He's pictured here on the red carpet with fiancée Miranda Lambert.
In July 2011, Blake Shelton released his sixth studio album, "Red River Blue." The album, which included hit singles "Honey Bee," "God Gave Me You," "Drink On It" and "Over," sold 1.2 million copies in the States and went on to be certified double platinum. He's pictured here performing at the American Country Awards in December 2011.
2011 was a monumental year for Blake Shelton — it marked his first season as a coach on a new NBC singing competition show, "The Voice"! He was joined by fellow powerhouse music stars Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green and Adam Levine, with whom he playfully bickered, leading to headlines about their "bromance." As of 2021, Blake was the only coach who'd been on the panel for every single season.
On May 14, 2011 — just over a year after they became engaged — Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert tied the knot! The king and queen of country said their vows before friends and family in Boerne, Texas. They're seen here about a month before their wedding at the Academy of Country Music's "Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country" concert in Las Vegas in April 2011.
Hello, newlyweds! Before kickoff at Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012 in Indianapolis, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert held hands as they sang "America the Beautiful" to a crowd of nearly 70,000 football fans.
In May 2012, Blake Shelton earned his first win as a coach on "The Voice" when Jermaine Paul was announced as the winner of the reality singing competition's second season. Jermaine went on to praise his coach for his guidance during the season. "Even Blake being my coach, his questions and his song ideas helped me kind of really focus on what I really wanted to get across to the world and America, what I really want to say," he told reporters.
At the 46th Annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville in November 2012, in addition to winning entertainer of the year and male vocalist of the year, Blake Shelton won song of the year with wife Miranda Lambert for "Over You." The win was an emotional one, given that the track was inspired by Blake's experience as a teenager coping with the death of his older brother, Richie. "I lost my brother in a car wreck when I was 14 years old," Blake began his speech. "When I decided I wanted to be a country singer, my dad always told me, 'Son, you should write a song about your brother.'" Blake went on to share his love for Miranda, who co-wrote and recorded the track. "I lost my dad in January, and it's so amazing to me that tonight, even after he's gone, he's still right," he continued. "I just needed the right person to write this song with and the right person to sing it."
Singer, songwriter, coach… and actor? In March 2013, Blake Shelton appeared on an episode of ABC's Reba McEntire-led sitcom "Malibu Country" entitled "Oh Brother."
In March 2013, Blake Shelton released his eighth studio album, "Based on a True Story…," which included singles "Sure Be Cool If You Did," "Boys 'Round Here" and "Mine Would Be You." The album was one of his greatest commercial successes — it sold nearly 200,000 copies its first week and ended up as the ninth bestselling album of 2013 in the United States. It was later certified double platinum. Blake is pictured here performing on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in April 2013 to promote the album a week after its release.
Following the release of his ninth studio album, "Bringing Back the Sunshine," in September 2014, Blake Shelton was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame that November. He's pictured here a few days earlier at the 48th Annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville. "So unbelievable that I'm being inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame tonight… Man they must be desperate!!! Ha!!! Truly is an honor," Blake playfully tweeted.
It's over. In July 2015, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert — seen here at the 2015 Grammys that February, which was one of the last events they attended as a couple — shocked fans when they announced they'd split after four years of marriage. "This is not the future we envisioned and it is with heavy heart that we move forward separately. We are real people, with real lives, with real family, friends and colleagues. Therefore, we kindly ask for privacy and compassion concerning this very personal matter," the said in a statement. The same day, it emerged that an Oklahoma judge had already signed off on the divorce just a few weeks after Blake quietly filed. Though neither has ever specified why they split so suddenly, news outlets speculated that infidelity or long-present distance issues were to blame. "There were times early on there that — I know that she did and I know that I did — we were just ready to give up on it and walk away from it because there's nothing easy about having a relationship doing what we do," Blake told CMT News in 2008. "But we just decided that as miserable as we are together, it's way more miserable when we're apart."
Moving on! In the fall of 2015, Blake Shelton began dating fellow "The Voice" coach Gwen Stefani, who'd quietly split from her husband, Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale, amid a nanny cheating scandal that summer. The then-new couple are pictured here at a Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals NFL game in Glendale, Arizona, in December 2015.
In early 2016, Blake Shelton launched his Smithworks Vodka brand. "I grew up in Ada, Oklahoma and was raised on the values of hard work, humility and an appreciation for the simple things that make up a good life," he said in a statement. "As part of the Smithworks family, I've been involved in the development of the brand, and I'm excited for everyone to finally taste what we've been crafting. At its core, Smithworks celebrates that moments in life are better spent with good people and great drinks." People magazine reported that Blake's favorite way to drink his liquor was with ginger ale.
Here's another accomplishment Blake Shelton can tick off his checklist: In May 2016, an exhibit called "Blake Shelton: Based on a True Story" was unveiled at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. 2016 also marked the year that "If I'm Honest" — Blake's 10th studio album and first following his divorce from Miranda Lambert — was released.
In February 2017, Blake Shelton supported fellow "The Voice" coach Adam Levine when the Maroon 5 singer was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "I want to talk about my journey with Adam, because it's been one of the most important relationships of my life," Blake said while honoring his buddy. "I first met Adam in 2011 — this little scrawny guy with a white T-shirt on came in the room, and if you would've told me then that this guy would've ended up being one of my best friends, I would've called you crazy."
A big win! Blake Shelton is pictured here alongside girlfriend Gwen Stefani backstage at the People's Choice Awards in January 2017. That night, Blake took home awards for favorite male country artist and favorite album for "If I'm Honest."
Talk about a hitmaker! Blake Shelton released his 11th studio album, "Texoma Shore," in November 2017. The album, which features singles "I'll Name the Dogs," "I Lived It" and "Turnin' Me On," debuted at No.4 on the Billboard 200. Blake is pictured here performing on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" days before the release.
As sweet as can be! In April 2018, Blake Shelton attended the 53rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards with girlfriend Gwen Stefani. That night, the Oklahoma-born country star was up for single record of the year for "I'll Name the Dogs."
In September 2017, Blake Shelton opened Ole Red — a restaurant, bar and performance venue in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, that got its name from his big 2002 cover hit "Ol' Red." More Ole Reds followed: One opened in Nashville in 2018; a Gatlinburg, Tennessee, location opened in 2019 — Blake is seen here getting a hard hat tour of that one in September 2018 — and an Orlando, Florida, outpost opened right after Blake's 44th birthday in June 2020.
In May 2019, Blake Shelton voiced a character in the movie "UglyDolls." He and girlfriend Gwen Stefani marked a milestone when they made their first red carpet appearance with her sons — Kingston, Apollo and Zuma Rossdale — at the family film's world premiere in Los Angeles a few days before its release. A year earlier, Blake gushed about the boys. "At this point in my life, I kind of had put [having kids] as like, 'Well, that wasn't meant to be.' Then all of a sudden it happens one way or another and it's like, 'Wow, [I] missed out on a lot,'" he told "Today" in 2018. "And so having them around … I don't even know how to describe it. It's so much fun."
At the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards in January 2020, Blake Shelton was nominated for best country solo performance for "God's Country," the first single from his album "Fully Loaded: God's Country." It marked his eighth Grammy nod — and his eighth loss. He and Gwen performed their third collaboration on stage at the annual awards show that night — "Nobody But You."
A winner… again! In May 2020, Todd Tilghman was crowned the winner of the 18th season of "The Voice," making Blake Shelton a winning coach once more. This marked Blake's seventh victory as a coach on the hit music competition series. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the show completed its season remotely — so Blake and Todd had to share mutual congratulations via livestream. One month earlier, Blake was among a slew of celebrities who helped fund COVID-19 relief efforts: He donated $150,000 during the "Give from Home Day" fundraiser, a partnership between his local KOCO 5 news station and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. "A lot of Oklahomans are going to bed hungry tonight. That's not something I can live with," Blake said in a video. "That's why I'm going to be donating to the Regional Food Bank, the Oklahoma Food Bank."
Finally! In October 2020 — after five years as a couple — Blake Shelton proposed to Gwen Stefani in Oklahoma. In an Instagram announcement accompanying a photo with his bride-to-be moments after he popped the question, Blake thanked Gwen for "saving my 2020… And the rest of my life" He added, "I love you. I heard a YES!" She posted the same photo, writing, "yes please." The couple (and Gwen's new engagement ring) are seen here on the season 19 set of "The Voice" a few weeks after revealing their engagement news.
A month after he performed new single "Minimum Wage" at the 2021 ACM Awards in April 2021 (pictured), Blake Shelton released his 12th studio album, "Body Language," on May 21, 2021. It features duets with The Swon Brothers and Blake's fiancée, Gwen Stefani. "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," Blake said in a statement. "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."