Shelton launched his career in 2001 with the single "Austin" on Giant Records. Although the label quickly closed, the song's fate was unharmed, as parent company Warner (Bros.) Records quickly picked up the song and pushed it to a five-week stay at number 1. Second album The Dreamer included another number 1 in "The Baby", but the other two singles did not fare as well. He quickly bounced back with the cheeky "Some Beach" in 2004, and saved the flagging Pure BS album with a re-release that included a cover of Michael Bublé's "Home". Startin' Fires also included the chart-topper "She Wouldn't Be Gone".
In 2010, Shelton chose to release two extended plays a year. These included Hillbilly Bone and All About Tonight, the title tracks of which were among his many number ones. Since these did not sell well, he returned to a full album in 2011 with Red River Blue, and Based on a True Story... in 2013. Shelton has been paired with producer Scott Hendricks since Hillbilly Bone, and has maintained a mostly uninterrupted streak of #1 country hits.
- Blake Shelton (2001)
- The Dreamer (2003)
- Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill (2004)
- Pure BS (2007)
- Startin' Fires (2008)
- Hillbilly Bone (2010). His first "Six Pak" EP.
- All About Tonight (2010). Second and final EP.
- Red River Blue (2011)
- Based on a True Story (2013)
- Bringing Back the Sunshine (2014)
- If I'm Honest (2016)
- Texoma Shore (2017)
- Advertised Extra: His 2014 single "My Eyes", which credits the almost completely unnoticeable backing vocals from The Voice contestant Gwen Sebastian.
- Animated Music Video: "Doing It to Country Songs", a track from If I'm Honest, got one that features Funny Animal versions of Blake (a deer) and guest vocalists The Oak Ridge Boys (a wolf, beaver, opossum, and frog).
- "Drink on It" changes "Man, he sounds like such a prick" to "Man, I'd like to bust his lip" for the radio edit.
- Similarly, "don't take no shit" became " no lip" on the radio edit of "Boys 'Round Here".
- "She's Got a Way with Words": The line "She put a big F.U. in my future" is either changed to "She put the S-O-L in solo"note or edited out entirely, while "words like lyin', cheatin' and screwed" becomes "...and truth".
- Broken Win/Loss Streak:
- His late-2016 single "She's Got a Way with Words" broke a 17-song streak of #1 country hits dating back to "Hillbilly Bone" in late 2009-early 2010.
- "Turnin' Me On" in late 2018 was not only his lowest Country Airplay peak (#10) since 2007's "The More I Drink", but also his first song since that one not to enter the Hot 100 (it peaked at #1 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart, which effectively acts as #101-#125). In addition, it's only the second song since 1999 to reach Top 10 on Country Airplay without entering the Hot 100note , and it makes 2018 the first year since 2009 in which Blake did not hit #1 at least oncenote .
- Country Rap: "Boys 'Round Here" uses mainly spoken-word verses.
- Dual-Meaning Chorus: "When Somebody Knows You That Well" has a man trying to hide various things from others (trying to hide intoxication from his dad, sadness from his wife, and his bad nature from God) before realizing that he can't, since those figures all know him so well.
- Early-Bird Cameo: A then-unknown Rachel Proctor (co-writer of Martina McBride's "Where Would You Be" and a few songs by Jessica Simpson and Jennette McCurdy; also had a Top 20 hit in 2004 with "Me and Emily") sang backing vocals on "Ol' Red".
- Early Installment Weirdness: His first three albums are a lot more twangy and neo-traditionalist than any of his later output. This is due in part to songwriting legend Bobby Braddock ("He Stopped Loving Her Today") serving as producer and mentor on these albums.
- '80s Hair: He had a mullet through the second album.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- The title of "Some Beach" is intended to evoke "som'bitch", a shortened form of "son of a bitch".
- One of his albums is named Pure BS.
- Intercourse with You: "My Eyes" (" are the only thing I don't want to take off of you").
- Last Chorus Slow-Down: "Playboys of the Southwestern World", but for only half of the last chorus.
- Love Will Lead You Back: Performed via answering machine on "Austin".
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: "Boys 'Round Here" has backing vocals from the writers (Rhett Akinsnote , Craig Wiseman, and Dallas Davidson), the producer (Scott Hendricks), the Pistol Annies (a group comprising Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley), and RaeLynn, a contestant on The Voice.
- The Mentor: Unlike the other The Voice judges, some of his contestants (RaeLynn, Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery, and Craig Wayne Boyd) have actually had success in the music industry. He also continues to have relationships with them outside of the show.
- Murder Ballad: Interestingly, a murder is implied but never elaborated on in "Ol' Red".
- Naked People Are Funny: In "Playboys of the Southwestern World", a song about a troublemaking narrator and his friend John Roy:But my favorite memory at school that fall
Was the night John Roy came runnin down the hall
Wearin nothin' but cowboy boots and a big sombrero
- Not So Different: "Hillbilly Bone", a duet with Trace Adkins, is about finding common ground among people who are fans of country, regardless of their own backgrounds ("We all got a hillbilly bone down deep inside...").
- Power Ballad: "Over" has the huge, soaring chorus, rock guitar, and swelling string sections of one.
- Shaped Like Itself: "The More I Drink" has "The more I drink, the more I drink."
- Shout-Out: "Playboys of the Southwestern World" is clearly informed by Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl".
- Something Completely Different: "God's Country" is a gritty Southern Gothic rock ballad the likes of which he has never done before.
- Stealth Pun: The title of "Some Beach" is one to the Southern dialectal pronunciation of "Son of a bitch" ("som'bitch").
- Take That!: "Same Ol' Song", a track off his first album, contains a lyric that makes fun of Chris Cagle's "My Love Goes On and On".
- Take That, Critics!: His initial response to ongoing criticism by classic country music artists and their supporters about the state of current country music, which stated bluntly that today's fans aren't interested in "their grandpas music" (i.e. music by classic artists, including songs recorded years ago) and claimed the critics were "old farts." One of those "old farts" Ray Price, a legendary singer known equally for his 4/4-shuffle and more pop-oriented Nashville Sound fired back with his own "Take That, Critics" statement, "This guy sounds like in his own mind that his head is so large no hat ever made will fit him" (along with other comments that spoke about the short-lived careers of several performers who cater to younger audiences without an attempt to draw older fans).
- Telephone Song: "Austin" features a woman calling a man, and getting an answering machine message that mentions her by name.
- Uncommon Time: "Mine Would Be You" is in 7/4 on the verses.
- You Put the "X" in "XY": Done in the chorus to "She's Got a Way with Words":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