Blake Shelton's career is going crazy

For the News-DemocratJuly 24, 2013 

The hit television singing competition show "The Voice" is making an impact in St. Louis, beginning with the Blake Shelton "Ten Times Crazier" sell-out tour Friday night at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, followed by castmate Adam Levine's Maroon Five tour stop at the same venue Aug. 1.

St. Louis was even a part of "The Voice" auditions last weekend at Chaifetz Arena.

The success of the television series, his accolades in country music, and marriage to fellow country star Miranda Lambert, haven not changed Shelton's outlook on his career.

More than a decade into a career whose opening salvo was the chart-topping "Austin," Shelton has become one of the best ambassadors country music has ever had, in a league with Glen Campbell and Roger Miller.

"I've spent a lifetime in love with country music," Shelton sai. "I listened all the time as a kid and I was playing and singing before I was a teenager. I moved to Nashville at 17 to make music and since then I've put everything I have into doing it right."

The results speak for themselves. He is reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and three-time Male Vocalist of the Year, and he and Miranda garnered Song of the Year honors for co-writing her platinum-selling chart-topper, "Over You."

He has earned multiple Grammy nominations, six gold and platinum albums, and is the three-time host of the ACM Awards.

His current tour serves as an indication that all of his hard work has paid off.

The "Ten Times Crazier" party started well before doors opened last weekend for Blake's sold-out shows. Tailgaters arrived first thing in the morning; lining up to block real estate in the parking lot and set up camp. Blake was blown away by the response of his fans.

"I heard music playing and just figured it was beachgoers but then I went outside and realized my fans had arrived earlier in the morning to tailgate," Shelton said. "Here we are in New York and there are pickup trucks and cowboy hats filling out the parking lot at Jones Beach. That was beyond anything I had anticipated."

The "Ten Times Crazier" tour is exactly that -- it is crazier than anything you might expect. In addition to performing many of his No. 1 hit singles, Blake performs some older classics and keeps his fans guessing with a couple surprises throughout the show that you have to be there to see for yourself. All three dates this past weekend sold out with over 50,000 fans in attendance and tickets for this coming weekend's dates have topped 60,000, selling out St. Louis, Indianapolis and Cincinnati.

The "Ten Times Crazier" tour features special guests Easton Corbin and ACM's New Female Vocalist of the Year Jana Kramer, and has dates running through the fall.

With nine consecutive No. 1 singles (14 overall) Blake is one of the "most versatile of contemporary country singers," according to The New York Times. His infectious No.1 hit "Honey Bee" still holds the record for the fastest-selling digital platinum single for a male country solo artist and just off the heels of his No. 1 smash hit "Boys 'Round Here," the follow up single "Mine Would Be You" is impacting radio now.

Shelton is the featured cover story in the August issue of Men's Journal magazine, and discusses his not-so-much residency in California for a large portion of the year, and how he enjoys flying home Oklahoma to get away from the pressures of being a television and recording star.

Shelton will spend most weekends from now through the fall on tour, and the weekdays taping "The Voice."

"There's no time to slow down now," Shelton said. "We gotta keep this thing running."

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