The Voice is currently enjoying its 21st season on NBC and there is one coach who has been with the show since the beginning — Blake Shelton.
There have been recent rumors that The Voice might be considering replacing Shelton in the near future with a younger coach, especially with the popularity of Ariana Grande this season.
Shelton is 45 years old and is closing in on the cap of the preferred age demographics for advertisers (18-49).
However, despite his age, he first hit it big as a musician in 2001, one year before Kelly Clarkson (39) won American Idol and four years after John Legend (42) started his career in music.
With Shelton as a coach on The Voice for 21 seasons, which was 10 years as the show aired twice a year, it has been fun to watch Shelton age throughout the series.
Here is a look at Blake Shelton in photos, from the start of his career to his work on The Voice this season.
Blake Shelton at the ACM Awards in 2002
Blake Shelton was supposed to get his start in 2001 when he was set to record the single, I Wanna Talk About Me. However, his label decided to give that song to Toby Keith, who hit number one with it.
Instead, Keith got his start later that year with the song Austin, and his debut single ended up as a number one song on the Hot Country Songs charts.
His self-titled debut album was certified platinum.
He made his first trip to the ACM Awards with that album, where he was nominated as the Top New Male Vocalist in 2001 and 2002.
Blake Shelton in the Some Beach music video in 2004
Shelton followed up his debut with The Dreamer and Blake Shelton’s Barn & Grill in 2003 and 2004.
The first album hit eighth on the Billboard 200 albums chart and topped out at two on the Country charts. The second only hit 20th and topped out at third. However, the third album sold more, going platinum while The Dreamer went gold.
The Baby hit the top of the country music charts from Dreamer and Some Beach reached number one from Blake Shelton’s Barn & Grill and went platinum as a single.
Blake also won his first major award at the CMAs when he took home Vocal Event of the Year, an award he shared with Tracy Byrd, Andy Griggs, and Montgomery Gentry for The Truth About Men.
Blake Shelton at an awards show in 2006
Blake spent time touring with Blake Shelton’s Barn & Grill and headlined his first major tour in 2005.
In 2006, Blake began to release singles for his fourth album, Pure BS, which he released in 2007. It was certified gold but was still successful, reaching eighth on the Billboard 200 and second on the Country charts.
That album included his next number-one single in Home.
Blake Shelton in concert in 2009
In 2008, Blake Shelton released Startin’ Fires and that album hit 34th on the Billboard 200 and seventh on the Country charts. However, it was his first album to not even reach gold certification for sales.
However, that wouldn’t last as his 2011 album Red River Blue sold over 1.24 million copies and was his first double-platinum release.
He also released two successful EPs in 2010, with them hitting third and sixth on the Billboard 200 charts, his highest ranking at that time.
This also started a streak of 17 consecutive number-one singles for Blake on the country music charts.
Blake also won his first major solo awards with Male Vocalist of the Year in 2012 from the ACM Awards, Song of the Year from the ACMs in 2013 for Over You, Music Video of the Year in 2011 from the ACMs, Male Vocalist of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 from the CMAs, Male Video of the Year in 2011, 2013, and 2014 from the CMT Awards, and picked up nine total Grammy nominations from 2011 to 2020.
The original cast of The Voice
In 2011, Fox announced that they were starting their own music competition show called The Voice.
The network brought in four chart-topping musicians to work as coaches on the show’s first season.
This included Blake Shelton, who had his most recent album Red River Blue debut at number one on the music charts.
Adam Levine of Maroon 5 joined the show. This was between his band’s platinum album Hands All Over and the 2012 platinum album, Overexposed.
CeeLo Green from Gnarls Barkley joined up one year after he released his double-platinum solo album The Lady Killer.
Finally, Christina Aguilera was the fourth member of the coaching team, in between her gold albums, Bionic and Lotus.
The cast of The Voice in 2013
In 2013, there was a shakeup in the coaching chairs, with Green and Aguilera leaving.
This left Blake Shelton and Adam Levine to team with newcomers Shakira and Usher.
There would be numerous shakeups over the years, with Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Nick Jonas, and Ariana Grande joining the show.
Blake Shelton and his ex-wife Miranda Lambert in 2015
Blake Shelton married Kaynette Gem in 2003 but they divorced in 2006.
This came after Blake met Miranda Lambert in 2005. The two worked together and began dating. Four years after they started dating, they married in 2010.
The two even released an award-winning song together in Over You, dedicated to Blake’s brother, who had died when Blake was just 14.
However, their marriage only lasted for five years and they divorced in 2015.
Blake Shelton and Adam Levine on The Voice in 2018
In 2019, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine worked together for the last time on The Voice.
That season saw John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, and Adam Levine work together in Season 16. A few months later, Levine left the show and Gwen Stefani replaced him in the lineup.
Adam Levin had only won three times in his 16 seasons as a coach on The Voice.
Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani in 2020
Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert divorced in 2015 and that was when he started to get to know Gwen Stefani better.
Gwen, the lead singer of No Doubt, was a coach in Season 12 and then left after one season. However, she returned in Season 17, the year that Adam Levine left and coached in that season and again in Season 19.
What is most important here is that Blake and Gwen began dating in 2015 after he divorced Miranda.
Blake Shelton on The Voice in 2021
Blake Shelton is now in his 21st season as the most successful coach in The Voice history.
Team Blake has won a record-breaking eight times. His winning singers include Jermaine Paul, Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery, Craig Wayne Boyd, Sundance Head, Chloe Kohanski, Todd Tilghman, and Cam Anthony.
Regardless of if he wins again in 2021 and leaves The Voice after this season, Blake Shelton has had an amazing career, both in music and in reality TV, seeing success every step of the way.
The Voice airs on Monday and Tuesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.