Blake Shelton Gave RaeLynn Career-Changing Advice
RaeLynn's current single "Love Triangle" is her fourth, and on paper, she hasn't found a winning formula. Two of her first three singles barely charted, and the other — the gold-certified "God Made Girls" — peaked just inside the Top 20. But she remains one of the most interesting female artists in country music, a rare talent who at age 22 has a great sense of identity.
It's why fans love her, and likely why Warner Music Nashville picked her up after she separated from Big Machine Music Group earlier this year. It'd have been easy for the reality television show singer to change direction at 18, when her debut single "Boyfriend" was given a ice cold shoulder by radio stations nationwide. But RaeLynn dug in, continued to fight for what she believed in and through it all came out more humble and more willing to listen to constructive criticism.
For that, the singer has Blake Shelton to thank. Shelton was RaeLynn's coach on Season 2 of The Voice, and he's kept in touch with her, providing opportunities for the young singer (including an upcoming opening slot on his tour) and continuing to mentor her. Fans see Shelton as a crass goofball with a perfect voice and even better comedic timing. RaeLynn sees his sensitive side.
"What you see on television is what you see in person," she insists. "He has the biggest heart. He would do anything for anybody. He would give the shirt off his back for somebody."
Quietly, Shelton has become a female country newcomer's best friend. In addition to RaeLynn, he's gone out of his way to create opportunities for Gwen Sebastian and Ashley Monroe. The "Love Triangle" singer recalls advice he gave her early on that supported her through the most difficult of times.
"I remember Blake telling me, 'Listen. You have a unique voice, you have a unique way of writing songs. Don't let anybody change you because this is what's gonna break through,'" she says.
"I have been fighting for that for four years. And I'm finally getting to do what I wanted to do."
Yes, it has been four years since RaeLynn left The Voice and started a country career in Nashville. America has watched her grow up, and at times, that's been difficult. There are always going to be critics — people who refuse to forget about her brazen, spitfire style on the television show. She's grown up now, and it it reflected in her songwriting.
"Love Triangle" is a gut-punch that puts an arm around anyone who is a child of divorce. It also urges moms and dads to be better and work harder at their marriage. It's not a safe song. There's nothing plain or vanilla about RaeLynn or anything she's recorded thus far. That path is well-trodden in Nashville, but with Shelton's help, RaeLynn is going to continue to blaze her own trail. She's gotten personal, which something she's never been afraid to do.
“I’m never nervous about being vulnerable with my songwriting because my favorite artists are ones that are vulnerable,” she admits. “I want people to feel like they know me."
Look for "Love Triangle" on RaeLynn's next album, and look for her on Shelton's tour, which begins on Sept. 9 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Fans are encouraged to post stories of how they relate to her new song on social media using the #MyLoveTriangle hashtag.
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