2016 CD FEATURE
IF I'M HONEST (WARNER)
BLAKE SHELTON FINDS LOVE AND MUSIC WITH AN OLDER WOMAN
“Girl you're getting over him and I'm getting over her/ the eyes have it made, ain't gotta say a word/ misery loves company, that's why it's you and me/ buying each other drinks, back at the bar, as thick as thieves/ stealing these little sips/ doing our best to make the best of the worst of it/ that first kiss was like a Colorado hit/ we better keep on keeping it lit/ 'Til we can't remember/ can't remember what we came here to forget.” - Came Here To Forget - Craig Wiseman-Derek Ruttan.
When twice wed Oklahoma singer and TV star Blake Shelton, 39, split with Texan singing spouse Miranda Lambert, 32, he fell into the arms of an older woman - Gwen Stefani, 46.
Shelton harvested hay from heartbreak after his divorce from the Pistol Annies co-founder Miranda Lambert.
Blake and Miranda became engaged in May 2010 and wed on May 14, 2011 at the Don Strange Ranch in Boerne, Texas.
On July 20, 2015, the couple announced their divorce after four years of marriage.
Blake, 40 on June 18, found solace with Stefani - one of his protégés in his role as judge and mentor on The Voice.
Stefani is Shelton's team mentor this season.
Californian Stefani - lead singer of the band No Doubt - and Gavin Rossdale split a month after Shelton divorced Lambert.
Blake and Gwen performed a duet on their joint composition Go Ahead And Break My Heart on The Voice and again at Billboard Music Awards on May 22.
That was months after he shot the video for Came Here To Forget - first single on his 12th album If I'm Honest .
“At the time, when you go through what I went through with my divorce, you never know when it's the right time to step out and say I've started seeing someone,” Shelton revealed.
“But what I found out, because it wasn't someone from my hometown, it was Gwen Stefani that I was beginning to have this relationship with. There was no hiding it. If I glance her way, it's the cover of magazines. If I could have kept my personal life private, I would have. Since I can't, I might as well let people in on the truth.”
The video for She Came Here to Forget is featured on the Series #30 premiere of Nu Country TV on Wednesday June 1.
“This is a song I absolutely fell in love with the first time I heard it,” Shelton explained.
“Songwriter Craig Wiseman was given the task to write a song for me about what had happened to me in my personal life and when I first started seeing Gwen, it's all in there. The only difference is we didn't actually meet in a bar.”
It doesn't rely on metaphor or symbolism to recall the embryo of his relationship with Stefani.
“I've had a lot of music over the years, but I don't think I've ever had a song before that's such a direct look into my life,” says Shelton.
TRACTORS AND BARNS
“I got a hundred acre farm/ I got a John Deere in my barn/ I got a garden in my yard full of corn and peas and beans/ I got a guitar I play unplugged, I got a homegrown girl I love/ and when the summertime hits, we skinny-dip in the stream, yeah/ I was green before green was a thing.” - Green - Craig Wiseman-George Teren
Tasking Wiseman with tailoring a song to suit Shelton is no surprise.
Craig and Deric Ruttan penned several Shelton songs, including Boys ‘Round Here and Mine Would Be You , but Came Here to Forget is the first they've written together.
Wiseman also wrote previous Shelton tune 100 Miles and Lee Ann Womack's Finding My Way Back Home - both with Chris Stapleton
The prolific writer has penned hits for artists diverse as Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Trace Adkins, John Anderson, Phil Vassar, Chris Young, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Lee Roy Parnell, Trisha Yearwood, Brooks & Dunn, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Pirates of The Mississippi.
SHE PUT THE EX IN SEX
"When you put two and two together/you figure out love's got four letters/I should of known that when I met her/but she had to spell it out for me/ she put the her in hurt/ she put the why in try/she put the S.O.B. in sober/she put the hang in hangover/ she put the ex in sex/she put the low in blow/she put a big F.U. in my future/yeah she's got a way/she's got a way with words." - She's Got A Way With Words - Wyatt Earp, Andy Albert, Marc Beeson.
Shelton said he and Stefani had “some trust issues” coming out of their relationships - that's why they bonded and wrote and recorded Go Ahead and Break My Heart together.
Shelton says at first his romance with Stefani didn't seem too likely.
“It's not something anybody could've seen coming,” Shelton confessed.
“Besides God, I guess. Because it doesn't look like it would make sense. But all I can tell you is it does. It just makes the most perfect sense. For us. I tell people all the time, ‘Gwen saved my life last year.' I think she would probably tell you something similar about me. Just all of the sudden, this thing happened. And it saved my life, period.”
The duo may have diverse musical tastes but still connect.
“As different as we are musically, we're a fan of the same type of songs,” Shelton explains.
“We have these playlists that we send each other that are stuff that we loved growing up, and they're so similar, so I think it made it easy for us to collaborate. The song's important to us, and the fact that we wrote it together is so important to both of us.”
Shelton's album fast became a media magnet.
“When listeners hear his new album they may not know what happened to me, but they're gonna know how I felt about it,” Shelton says of ruptured romance requiems such as I Bet You Still Think About Me .
“It's basically what it sounds like. At some point, whether you go through a divorce or a breakup or whatever, once you get past the anger and the frustration of it all, you kind of go into the sad part of it where it's just like, ‘gosh, how come that didn't work out?'” And that's what this song is about: Even though stuff didn't work out, I bet you miss me a little bit. It's a sad song.”
Another heartbreaker is Every Time I Hear That Song - “all I ever wanted was you and me/we were crying, we were wasted/we were dying when they played it.”
Shelton's first album since his divorce was almost called 12 Months and Holy Crap .
“I figured, since everybody else is cashing in on my life, I might as well as get some of that, too,” Shelton joked.
“I was like, ‘man, I want it to be - I need a title that represents a timeline, like 12 or 13 months of my life, like if somebody took those months and wrote a story about it, that's what I want the album to represent,' and we kept saying like 12 Months and Holy Crap . I was just like, ‘I just want to tell the truth about what happened.'”
Instead Shelton's album became known as If I'm Honest .
“I'm standing in my Savior's shadow/grace will lead to where I'm free/I take his hand, we walk together/and his light shines on me/ though the devil try to break me/ my sweet Jesus won't forsake me / when I'm in my Savior's shadow / where I'm supposed to be.” - Savior's Shadow - Blake Shelton-Jessi Alexander-Jon Randall.
“That's when it became apparent that, you know, things weren't going to work out with my marriage,” Shelton confessed.
“We both knew that it wasn't going to work out, and I was walking around, randomly singing that song to myself, and somehow it would make me feel better.”
Though Shelton had heard songs in dreams before, this was the first time he remembered it.
He sang the first verse into his voice memo but didn't really understand what it meant.
“At first I thought it was that I'm so sad and pitiful that even God feels sorry for me and He's crying for me.”
But as time went on, Shelton says, “And then I thought, ‘No, it's just that He's on this journey with me and He's walking with me.'”
He sent the memo to songwriter Jessi Alexander who shared it with her singing spouse Jon Randall - one of Nashville icon Lorrie Morgan's six husbands.
“It was so gut-wrenching and beautiful, like the most pure prayer,” Alexander recalled.
“So J.R. walks in the door, and he's asking me where to put the couch and the boxes, and I got tears in my eyes. I'm like, ‘well, we have to help Blake finish this song.'”
When Randall sent Shelton the finished song he listened to it three times and “cried as if someone I loved just died in front of me.”
Shelton says his gospel song, released as a single to Christian radio in April, may shock some listeners.
“This is from a different place. I feel like that song helped save my life,” Shelton explained.
“I'm not trying to get a No. 1 song out of this. I just feel like it needs to be shared with everybody. I feel like people need to be aware of this song for whatever it might mean to them.
“I feel like I was given this song for a reason and I need to do something with it. We tried our best to get it out to as many people as we can. And so far, the reaction has been really special.”
ANGRY BIRDS AND FRIENDS
“There's a moment in this journey that I gave up/ my boots just couldn't walk another mile/ and that cloud above me had no silver lining/ I couldn't buy a break with my last dime/ oh but when I saw you standing in the corner/ I'd never thought that you would have my back/ but then we rolled in like the thunder and the lightning/ threw some punches then we had a laugh.” - Friends - Blake Shelton-Jessi Alexander-Jon Randall.
Shelton recorded Friends for his album and soundtrack of The Angry Birds Movie , released in Australia in May.
He also voices the character of Earl - one of those “little green piggies” and penned a song for the animated movie.
Shelton filmed a video in a recording studio for the song we feature on Nu Country TV on Wednesday June 8.
Blake is joined in the video by feathered friends Red, Chuck, Stella, Bomb and the Mighty Eagle.
“I can write things about myself and my life,” Shelton reflects.
“But I don't have a whole lot of experience being shot out of a slingshot at pigs.”
And the singing.
“They kept saying, ‘More country!' I felt like I was doing a voice-over for Dukes of Hazzard .”
Shelton's song is an upbeat, positive tune about friendships that endure the storms of life.
The song's message is perfect for an animated movie based on a kids' video game with Blake's laid back vocals, foot-stomping beat and rolling banjo.
Shelton is a fan of the Angry Birds game.
“I wish I had a dollar for every minute I lost playing that freaking game, you know?” he adds.
“Well, I guess I do now.”
Blake joins Jason Sudeikis, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Kate McKinnon, Sean Penn, Hannibal Buress and Danny McBride in Angry Birds .
Shelton also appears in Adam Sandler's Netflix movie, The Ridiculous 6 - a satirical western.
Blake follows in hallowed footsteps of actors like Errol Flynn and Henry Fonda in his portrayal of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp.
Sandler co-wrote and stars in the movie that also features Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, Nick Nolte, Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider, Dan Aykroyd, Will Forte, Terry Crews, Jon Lovitz, Vanilla Ice, Luke Wilson, Steve Kahn, Danny Trejo, Chris Parnell and more.
“There you are again on my phone/ the moon is rising and you're all alone/ maybe we could just hang awhile/ maybe we can make each other smile.” - Go Ahead And Break My Heart - Blake Shelton-Gwen Stefani.
Shelton also bought new belle Stefani a horse named Halo.
"I did, I gave her the horse. Actually got her a horse and got myself a horse at the same time," Shelton confessed.
"Gwen, she loves riding and she loves horses. It's actually so funny that people are so shocked by that, but if you can name me one girl on the planet that doesn't love horses or just think that they are beautiful."
In return Stefani admitted her new song Make Me Love You that she performed live on the Grammys in February is about Shelton.
Blake's altruism doesn't stop with Stefani.
On November 13, 2015, Shelton rescued four young men from a mud hole near the Washita River in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
Shelton - who was with his dog Betty - spotted them and picked them up.
“He told Adrian and I to hop into his truck,” Bryar Blanton - one of the victims - explained at the time.
“Then, we went back to the river, and he tried to get them out with his truck. He couldn't do it, so he said he would be back in 15 minutes with his tractor.”
Back in June, Shelton helped out another Oklahoman stranded in floodwaters by towing the man's truck out and giving him a ride home.