The Stunning Transformation Of Blake Shelton

Whether you know him from his long stint as a judge on "The Voice," as Gwen Stefani's husband, or from one of his many studio albums, it's hard not to recognize Blake Shelton. The goofy 6' 5” singer is known for his boisterous personality and constant jokes that he cracks at any given opportunity. In a 2011 interview with CNN, Shelton even admitted, "My heart and soul is being a redneck and drinking and being stupid. That's what I do!"

It seems like everyone has nothing but nice things to say about Shelton, Stefani included. In an interview with "Today," Stefani couldn't help but gush, "What don't I love about Blake? And what don't we all love about Blake? ... He's just such a good guy." But how exactly did the comedic country star rise to fame? From Oklahoma to Nashville to the set of "The Voice," let's take a look at the stunning transformation of Blake Shelton.

Blake Shelton was born in Oklahoma

Blake Shelton was born in Ada, Oklahoma on June 18, 1976 (via Britannica). His father owned a used car dealership and his mother was the owner of a beauty salon where, Shelton told Men's Journal, he "learned to bulls**t with girls."

Shelton always speaks very fondly of his childhood home in Oklahoma because of his family's tight-knit bond. In a 2018 interview with Cowboys & Indians, Shelton shared, "I could always, and I can still always, count on my family."

As a class clown, Shelton loved nothing more than to be the center of attention, so when he was offered a job to perform weekly at a theater in downtown Ada at just 15 years old, he couldn't resist (via Men's Journal). Notably, Shelton also started writing and performing his own songs in high school, and he soon started dreaming of life as a country star.

He met Mae Boren Axton, who helped launch his career

Blake Shelton had been performing songs throughout his high school career, and at a tribute concert for Mae Boren Axton, he caught the attention of the iconic songwriter herself (via MTV News). Axton is known for co-writing the Elvis Presley song "Heartbreak Hotel," and is widely respected in the music industry (via Britannica). So when Shelton was given the opportunity to meet Axton at the show, he told her his plans to move to Nashville following his high school graduation, according to The Boot

Shelton told The Boot, "I had already made up my mind that I was going to move to Nashville anyway. I think I was 16 or 17 when she came; I told her, 'I'm moving to Nashville.' She said, 'Well, call when you get there. I've got some things you can probably do for me, for money or whatever, and I'll introduce you to some people.'"

And just like that, Blake Shelton got his big break.

The aspiring country singer moved to Nashville

After Shelton graduated high school in 1994, he moved to Nashville. With the help of Mae Boren Axton, Shelton explained in an interview with CMT News, he got a job painting her house while she introduced him to people in the industry. In an interview with MTV News, Shelton said, "She introduced me to a lot of people when I got here. It was like my security blanket. I always knew if I needed something or if I had a question, I could call Mae."

Shelton found another mentor in Bobby Braddock, a respected songwriter and producer in the country music industry. Braddock helped Shelton land a production deal with Sony/ATV/Tree and a recording contract with Giant Records in the late 1990s, which played a huge part in launching Shelton's career.

Shelton's first single, "Austin," was released in 2001, and just two weeks later, Giant Records closed. Shelton told CMT News that, luckily, "Austin" had already charted when his record label closed, so he was able to join Warner Bros. (now known as Warner Music Nashville) shortly after. "Austin" went No. 1 in September on Billboard's Hot Country Songs Chart, and Shelton quickly became a force in the country music industry.

Blake Shelton released his debut album in 2001

Blake Shelton released his debut, self-titled album over two decades ago in July 2001. His debut single, "Austin," ended up spending five weeks in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts, immediately giving Shelton recognition across the country (via One Country). Other popular singles from the album include, "Ol' Red," "She Doesn't Know She's Got It," and "Every Time I Look at You," as noted by People.

Although Shelton's life would never be the same after he released his first album, in an interview with People, Shelton admitted that sometimes he doesn't feel like much has changed. While reflecting on the 20 years since the release of the album, Shelton said, "Man — 20 years may have passed, but sometimes I still feel like the kid from Oklahoma I was back then! The kid who came to Nashville just wanting to sing country music."

Even though so much has changed, we think it's safe to say that Shelton still resembles that tall, goofy kid from Oklahoma!

He married Miranda Lambert in 2011

Blake Shelton proposed to Miranda Lambert, who's had a stunning transformation, in 2010 after almost six years of dating, and the pair finally got married in May of 2011 at Don Strange Ranch in Texas (via People). Country Fancast noted that Shelton was previously married to Kaynette Williams from 2003 to 2006, and during this time, Shelton met Lambert, who was engaged. After they sang together at the 2005 "CMT 100 Greatest Duets" special, the two soon ended their former relationships and started dating in 2006, according to The Boot

Before their wedding, Shelton confessed to The Boot, "Miranda and I, our relationship is odd. But really, really, really tight." Shelton continued to explain that, "We've gotten to the point where we really lean on each other for a lot of things, and it surprises me with how much we're involved with each other's careers, probably to the point where it makes people that work with us uncomfortable."

Lambert and Shelton settled down in Tishomingo, Oklahoma and quickly became the power couple of country music. Lambert excitedly told People after their engagement, "I'm just excited to be married because I want to tell Blake I really can love him the rest of my life and be happy and make him happy."

Blake Shelton joined The Voice as a coach

Although Blake Shelton has now served as a judge on NBC's "The Voice" since it's premiere date over a decade ago in April 2011, he revealed that he thought the show was a little silly at first. In a press conference, Parade reported that Shelton confessed that he and Adam Levine "both thought the show was pretty ridiculous," but that they both "needed a job" at the time. In fact, Shelton even turned the opportunity down at first, until he heard that Christina Aguilera had agreed to be a judge. If it was good enough for her, it must be good enough for him, he told Men's Journal.

According to Shelton, you can credit his success as a coach and mentor on "The Voice" to his lovable, boy-next-door personality. Shelton explained to Men's Journal, "If there's one thing special about me, it's that I seem familiar. People feel like I live next door." 

He won big at the 2012 Country Music Awards

At the 2012 Country Music Awards, Shelton won the highest honor of the awards show, Entertainer of the Year. Shelton also won Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year for his and Miranda Lambert's song "Over You" (via The Boot).

Shelton was emotional while accepting his award for Song of the Year and shared with the audience that "Over You" was about his late brother, Richie, who died in a car accident when he was just a teenager. Shelton shared with Cowboys & Indians that, when his big brother died, "it was literally like the world went silent. There was a void in my world all of a sudden, and I'm still not over it."

Shelton's wife at the time, Miranda Lambert, stood by his side as he made his speech with tears in her eyes and a proud look on her face. "Later in life, when I decided I wanted to be a country singer," Shelton said in his speech (via BBC News), "my dad always told me, 'Son, you should write a song about your brother.' And I lost my dad in January, and it's so amazing to me that tonight, even after he's gone, he's still right."

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert filed for divorce in 2015

In July 2015, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert announced that they had filed for divorce after four years of marriage. In an interview with Billboard, Shelton explained that if his fans listened closely to his May 2016 album, "If I'm Honest," "you can learn some facts of my divorce. Maybe not specifics, but you can get a general idea about it."

The divorce was extremely difficult for Shelton, and he even had to stay with fellow coach on "The Voice," and one of his closest friends, Adam Levine. Shelton vulnerably shared with Billboard, "When you have a broken heart — at least, when I do — you got to get it out of your system. You want people to sympathize with you. I was at rock bottom, in the middle of hell."

Although the divorce was a tough period of time, unbeknownst to him, a new love was waiting just right around the corner for Shelton.

Blake Shelton started dating Gwen Stefani

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani met on the set of "The Voice” in 2014 while they were still married to their former spouses, but later bonded over their very public divorces (via People). Shelton and Miranda Lambert filed for divorce in 2015, and Stefani shocked everyone when she also filed for divorce from Gavin Rossdale in 2015, after 13 years of marriage and three children (via ET).

In an interview with Billboard, Shelton explained that the pair grew so close so quickly because "who else on earth could understand going through a high-profile divorce from another musician? You can't even imagine the similarities in our divorces." The two learned to lean on each other during a difficult period of time, and made their official debut as a couple at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in February 2016, much to the delight of fans of "The Voice" (via People).

He was named People's Sexiest Man Alive in 2017

Presumably much to the chagrin of former "The Voice" coach Adam Levine, Blake Shelton was named People's 2017 Sexiest Man Alive. Shelton gleefully shared with People, "I can't wait to shove this up Adam's a**. As proud as I am and honored that you guys asked me, that's really the only thing I care about." Although Levine was given the honor back in 2013, Shelton could not resist teasing him. In a video for "The Voice," Shelton proudly showed Levine his People cover and gloated about his victory, to which Levine responded, "Man, I'm proud of you buddy. Because I'm only friends with other SMAs.'"

Never one to take things seriously, Shelton teased People that the publication "must be running out of people," he joked. "Like, wow, we're down to somebody who is somewhat symmetrical." Despite all of the banter and funny comments, Shelton said that Gwen Stefani encouraged him to embrace the opportunity, "live in the moment," and accept the honor.

The singer released the album Body Language in 2021

Blake Shelton released his 11th studio album and first album in four years, "Body Language," in May 2021 (via Variety). Although the album was largely successful and landed on the top 10 of Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, "Body Language" almost didn't exist. In an interview with Apple Music, Shelton confessed, "Just to be completely honest with you, I didn't even know if I was ever going to put out another actual album or not. I just kept recording throughout that time period and next thing you know, a few years go by and you got this pile of songs laying there that you're really proud of."

The lead single of the album, "Happy Anywhere," which features Gwen Stefani landed at No. 3 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart in December 2020 (via Billboard). As reported by Hello!, Stefani shared at a party, "The song is so 'our song' and we're so in love and it really is the perfect way to describe us."

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani tied the knot

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani lead a super glamorous life together, and they finally tied the knot in a spectacular wedding in July 2021 at Shelton's ranch in Oklahoma, with Carson Daly as the officiant (via Today). The ceremony was intimate with only 40 close family members and friends invited, and took place in a chapel on Shelton's property that he had built. Just when you think the wedding couldn't have gotten any more romantic, Shelton wrote a wedding vow song with songwriter Craig Wiseman for Stefani that he performed during the ceremony (via People). In an interview with SiriusXM, Shelton shared that he had recently recorded the song in Nashville and plans to release it because, "I'm proud to be married to Gwen, so I'm proud of that song."

Stefani shared several stunning photos and videos of the two on their special day on her Instagram. With Stefani's Vera Wang wedding dress, the gorgeous Oklahoma sunset, and the grins on the newlyweds' faces, we couldn't imagine a more picture-perfect wedding day.

Is Blake Shelton ready to leave The Voice?

Blake Shelton has hinted that the 21st season of "The Voice" may be one of his last seasons. In an interview with Hoda Kotb on "Today with Hoda & Jenna," Shelton explained that he and his wife, Gwen Stefani, are eager to take time away from the spotlight. Shelton admitted, "We've both pretty much taken it to the limit as far as, you know, our careers go, and touring and now the television thing. It's been fortunate to accomplish a lot of things, but hopefully at some point we'll get a chance to live some life, and I think we're both ready for that honestly."

Shelton was joined by judges Ariana Grande, John Legend, and Kelly Clarkson for Season 21 (here's the real reason Adam Levine left "The Voice"), and it seems like the veteran judges are already giving Grande a hard time during her first season in the judge's chair. "I'm excited about Ariana joining the show because it's somebody new for me to beat!" Shelton told Entertainment Tonight. "I'm tired of beating John every season."