Blake Shelton enjoying the good life

10/03/2013 9:58 AM

10/03/2013 9:59 AM

Blake Shelton seems to have it all. The tall, affable country music star, who will perform Saturday at the Intrust Bank Arena, is a tall, clever and successful recording artist. Shelton, who is married to talented country sensation Miranda Lambert, is the one of the judges from NBC’s ‘The Voice.’

The lanky Oklahoman has 14 No. 1 country hits, considerable energy and a great sense of humor. What else could Shelton want?

“I’ve been very fortunate,” Shelton said. “Good things have happened to me and I’ve worked hard for it.”

There’s no doubt about the latter. Shelton’s success didn’t happen by accident. Shelton busted his butt and it paid off with a major label deal a dozen years ago. His 2001 eponymous debut disc featured a young singer with a golden set of pipes. But then that’s part of the reason Shelton was tabbed for ‘The Voice.’

“I knew it would be ridiculous not to do the show,” Shelton said. “I absolutely love it. So many people watch it. It’s all good.”

Comic-actor Kevin James, of all people, is a huge fan.

“I can’t stop watching ‘The Voice,’ ” James said. “It might seem odd but when I’m working out, that’s the show I want to watch. There’s something about the hosts of that show. I like them.”

Despite all of the gold records and all of the trappings which go with fame and fortune, Shelton seems to be a pretty regular guy. “I can’t let go of certain things that I loved before everything blew up,” Shelton said. “At heart, I’m still the person I was when I was just starting out.”

Shelton has amassed an enviable set of albums. He’s been one of country’s most consistent performers. Shelton has released seven solid studio albums, not counting 2012’s ‘Cheers It’s Christmas’ and his latest ‘Based on a True Story,’ which was released in March and is among his strongest.

Shelton belts out songs with big hooks and entertaining tales throughout ‘Based on a True Story.’ The best of the new tunes are slick, celebratory and freewheeling. Shelton sings with a swagger and that’s a good thing today.

The laid-back Shelton is a larger than life figure and there’s a dearth of those in country, rock and/ or hip-hop. Aside from being a character, Shelton is an original. “I try to do things my way,” Shelton said. “But I try to have fun and put out the best music I can.”

“Based on a True Story” has more sheen than it needs. It sounds like there’s some Auto-Tune on there, but the last thing Shelton needs is a vocal boost. Adding Auto-Tune to his tracks is like coating a Twix bar with more sugar. But overall, the album is strong and Shelton has a nice canon at 37.

The future looks bright for Shelton, who is in an enviable position.

“I’m just going to do what I feel is right for me,” Shelton said.

So far, so good. Shelton is part of a successful television show, has hit albums under his belt and is married to a singer, who sells a considerable amount of albums and gets catcalls.

“Life hasn’t been bad to me at all,” Shelton said. “It’s been very interesting and I hope it stays that way.”

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