Blake Shelton was born in Ada, Oklahoma, to Dick Shelton, a used car dealer, and Dorothy Shelton-Shackleford, who owned a beauty salon. The future star began singing as a child and learned to play guitar by the time he was 12. After performing at local honky-tonk bars and country music shows, Shelton moved to Nashville at 17 upon the advice of a family friend, legendary country songwriter Mae Boren Axton. He signed with Giant Records in 1998 and released his debut single "Austin" three years later. "Austin" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, which paved the way for his self-titled debut album to peak at No. 3 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. The album also reached No. 45 on the mainstream Billboard Top 200 list and included a cover version of the 1990 George Jones classic, "Ol' Red." He topped the country charts once again with the lead single "The Baby" off sophomore effort The Dreamer (2003). Shelton married his longtime girlfriend Kaynette Williams in 2003, but their union only lasted three years. In 2006, Shelton began dating fellow country superstar Miranda Lambert, whom he met at the taping of "CMT: 100 Greatest Duets Concert" (CMT, 2005). Shelton's recording career soared with subsequent album releases. He released two consecutive No. 1 hits in 2008 with "Home" (originally recorded by Michael Buble in 2005) and "She Wouldn't Be Gone," from his fifth album, Startin' Fires. That album included a duet with Lambert titled "Bare Skin Rug" and reached No. 34 on the Billboard Hot 200. In 2010, Shelton enjoyed a landmark year. He won top honors at several of country music's biggest award shows, including Male Vocalist of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year from the Country Music Association. That same year, Shelton was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, a longstanding and well-respected honor extended only to the genre's biggest stars. Shelton released his first greatest hits compilation titled Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton, which peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. His personal life also reached a milestone that year when Shelton announced his engagement to Lambert at the CMT Video Awards. Shelton's easygoing charm, quick wit and charismatic personality made him a perfect choice to mentor aspiring singers on the reality competition series "The Voice," along with fellow celebrity judges Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo Green and Adam Levine. The show was an instant success upon its 2011 debut, turning Shelton from a country star into a mainstream celebrity. His first release following the show's debut, Red River Blue, became his first to top the Billboard Top 200 album chart, and spawned four No. 1 country singles, including the swaggering rocker "Honey Bee." A holiday album, Cheers, It's Christmas, was accompanied by a comedy special, "Blake Shelton's No So Family Christmas" (NBC 2012). Two more hit albums, Based On A True Story (2013) and Bringing Back the Sunshine (2014), followed. In January 2015, Shelton hosted and was the musical guest on an episode of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975-). Shelton and Lambert divorced in July of that year. In November 2015, Shelton confirmed that he was dating fellow "The Voice" judge Gwen Stefani.
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