Remember When Blake Shelton Made His Grand Ole Opry Debut?
Blake Shelton has gone on to become one of the biggest stars in country music, but at the time of his Grand Ole Opry debut on May 5, 2001, he was just another aspiring country singer looking for his big break.
Shelton had released his debut single, "Austin," just weeks earlier on April 16, and that's the song he performed for his big moment in the spotlight on the hallowed stage. No video footage of that moment is publicly available, and it wasn't one of those legendary a-star-is-born moments that go down in country music history. In fact, Shelton himself professes not to remember much about that night.
“I sang "Austin" and ... that’s all I remember,” Shelton tells CMT. “I remember thinking, ‘Man, this is my shot.’ The song might have been in the 50s [on the charts] at that point. It had been out for maybe two weeks. And I just remember thinking, ‘Here it is, here’s my song.’ There’s no telling what else I did — probably threw up.”
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"Austin" ended climbing the charts steadily over the next few months, finally peaking at No. 1 on Aug. 11, 2001. It remained at the top of Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart for five weeks, launching Shelton as one of country music's brightest new stars.
Shelton went on to a dizzying string of hits over the next few years that included "Ol' Red," "The Baby," "Some Beach" and more, and in more recent years he's raised his public profile well outside the country music genre by appearing as a coach on The Voice. Shelton became a full-fledged member of the Grand Ole Opry in October 2010.
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