Rising Star 2003
Blake Shelton started his musical career when his mother entered him into a beauty pageant talent show with fifty little girls when he was eight, singing “Old Time Rock N’ Roll.” According to Blake, he was so embarrassed that he vowed never to sing again. However, he retained his interest in music and by the time he reached his teens, Blake was singing at local honky tonks, a regular on a local country music show and wrote his first song. Blake began receiving statewide attention when he captured the Denbo Diamond Award for young Oklahoma entertainers. Based on this award and his local singing reputation, Blake was invited to perform at a tribute show in Ada for Mae Boren Axton, who was impressed and encouraged him to come to Nashville. Two weeks after graduating from high school in 1994, Blake moved to Nashville where he reunited with Ms. Axton. In 1997, Bobby Braddock was given a tip on Blake and secured a contract for Blake with Tree Productions. In 2001, Blake released his first album, Austin and made a debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Blake was named Radio and Records’ breakthrough Artist of the Year and was nominated for Favorite New Artist in Country Music for Billboard, American Music, Country Weekly Fan Favorite and ACM in 2001-2002.