Who’s Gonna Fill Their Legendary Shoes?
Though inconsistency marked the early chapters of Blake Shelton’s career, his emergence as a gregarious funnyman (and intuitive talent scout) on The Voice has turned him into a household name for people who probably weren’t familiar with “Austin” or “The Baby.” And as his public profile has grown along with his wife Miranda Lambert’s, so has Blake’s willingness to take musical risks. A devoted traditional country fan, Blake has made some enduring hits in recent years out of utterly wacky songs (“Hillbilly Bone”) as well as powerful, emotional ones (“God Gave Me You”), the kind of stuff that will still sound interesting 20 years down the road. Blake was also named the CMA Entertainer of the Year in 2012, catching the humble star off guard as if he somehow didn’t deserve it. Maybe he’ll get his own variety TV show one day, like Campbell or Cash.
photo courtesy Schmidt Relations
In this special Country Weekly cover story, we profile some of today’s most capable artists—the Veterans, the Journeymen, the Hopefuls and the Promising—and take a look ahead down country’s road.