Blake Shelton has made himself into one of America’s most well-loved stars with his country charm and aw-shucks demeanor on the hit show The Voice, and his music career has seen a string of hits and chart-toppers. One of his latest songs, however, has him in hot water with some fans.
Blake Shelton’s ‘Minimum Wage’ Malady
The “God’s Country” singer debuted the song on New Year’s Eve, and Twitter users immediately questioned the content of the song. The majority of the focus fell on the song’s chorus, which is about as bluntly romantic as most of Shelton’s repertoire:
You can make a six pack on the carpet taste like a million dollar bill
You can make a one bedroom apartment feel like a house up on the hill
You can make my truck out in the driveway roll like a cleaned up Cadillac
Girl, lookin’ at you lookin’ at me that way can make a man feel rich on minimum wage
With the coronavirus pandemic putting millions of Americans out of jobs and money being tighter than ever for most people, it came off as strange to hear ruminations about the $7.25 an hour minimum wage coming from someone with multiple houses and a nearly 1,400 acre ranch. Of course, the song doesn’t denigrate people working those jobs or anything like that, but most modern country musicians celebrate blue-collar life and use “common folk” angle in their songs despite being years or decades removed from worrying about putting food on the table. Complicating the matter is the fact that the genre comes with a certain expectation of not caring about what people think and rugged independence and all, which Shelton has embraced in the past with both Twitter jabs at his haters and comments in interviews.
“In country music, we’re so politically correct and so afraid to possibly upset someone,” he told Billboard in 2016. In fact, he credited his brashness for convincing NBC execs to get him on The Voice. “They probably saw how unfiltered I am on Twitter and thought, ‘We need somebody that’ll shake things up,'” Shelton explained. “In country music, everybody falls in line. I am who I am. Sometimes that gets mistaken for ‘Blake Shelton is an asshole.’ I’m not. I just don’t want to be dishonest with anybody.”
Shelton Briefly Addressed The Controversy
The star was defended by fans and peers alike, with Ronnie Dunn calling the whole ordeal a “misguided social issue (cultural scams)” and arguing that minimum wage is a fair topic since “most country singers pay dues and go through things to become successful that no sane human being would.” Sammy Hagar apparently offered some personal words of encouragement to Shelton, as Shelton took to Twitter to thank both of the men.
And with that, it certainly seems like it’s a closed case for Blake Shelton. While fans hurt or offended by the timing of “Minimum Wage” likely won’t get any sort of empathy from the hit singer, the chances of it impacting his career in any way are slim to none, as are the odds of any sort of apology.