Blake Shelton songs are among the most-played of the last decade at country radio. The singer-songwriter has consistently offered up a diverse selection of songs that keep him current, re-inventing himself a little bit at a time as he goes along.
From down-home songs that celebrate the simpler side of country life, to traditional heartbreak ballads, to more contemporary country radio fare, Shelton's best songs are a grab bag of different styles. The one thing that ties them all together is the consistent strength of his vocal performances, which set him well in front of most of his contemporaries in country music.
Our list of the Top 10 Blake Shelton Songs brings together the very best from across his entire career.
"Ol' Red"From: 'Blake Shelton' (2001)
The third single from Shelton's self-titled debut album, this unconventional song about prison, a dog named Red and an escape to Tennessee was a Top 20 hit and remains a concert favorite. Shelton wasn't the only singer fond of the tune: George Jones recorded it in 1990, while Kenny Rogers followed suit three years later.
"Sure Be Cool if You Did"From: 'Based on a True Story ...' (2013)
Shelton showed that he could keep up with changes in contemporary country radio with "Sure Be Cool If You Did," which features a modern production fused with some classic instrumentation. Written by Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins and Jimmy Robbins, the song was the first single from Based n a True Story ... and, along with his gig on The Voice, helped Shelton reach the next level of visibility in his career. The song reached No. 1 on the country charts and helped Shelton sell out the dates for a massive headlining tour.
"Some Beach"From: 'Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill' (2004)
The first hint of Shelton's pending superstar status and his first gold-selling single, "Some Beach" is the sentiment a lot of us feel when we're stuck in the daily grind. From running late to enduring dental pain, the landlocked Oklahoman dreams of "Some beach, somewhere ... a big umbrella casting shade over an empty chair." Those palm trees and warm breezes surely echo thoughts we've all had more than once.
"Austin"From: 'Blake Shelton' (2001)
The song that introduced Shelton to country music fans was allegedly inspired by a true story, telling the tale of a relationship that ends with a woman moving to Austin "without leaving her number." She waits a full year before calling him and hearing on his answering machine, "If this is Tuesday night, I'm bowling / If you've got something to sell / You're wastin' your time, I'm not buyin' ... and P.S., if this is Austin, I still love you." We all breathed a collective sigh of relief by the end of the song, which finds him hearing a similar message on Austin's machine.
"Draggin' the River"From: 'All About Tonight' (2010)
Shelton included this song on his second EP, All About Tonight. This duet with Miranda Lambert is the story of two lovers who develop an elaborate scheme to disappear so they can be together. Complete with a truck thrown off a bridge and a Greyhound bus, "Draggin' the River" makes for country's Bonnie and Clyde.
"She Wouldn't Be Gone"From: 'Startin' Fires' (2008)
Shelton's fifth No. 1 single kicks off with the regretful lines, "Red roadside flower, if I'd only picked you / Took you home, set you on the counter / At least a time or two." The aching story of an abandoned lover who realizes too late that his self-centered ways are what prompted the goodbye says he'll be "Driving like hell, flying crazy down the highway / Calling everyone we know, stopping any place she might go" to try to win her back.
"Goodbye Time"From: 'Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill' (2004)
It's a song of resignation, aching with reflection of what might have been. First sung by Conway Twitty in 1988, Shelton took "Goodbye Time" to the Top 10 16 years later. We're not sure if it's the emotionally powerful lyrics ("You say it's different now, and you keep staring at the door / How can you walk away, don't I matter anymore?") or Shelton's immaculate vocal delivery, soaring into that memorable high tenor, that makes it a fan favorite. Whatever it is, the song ranks as one of his most memorable hits.
"Who Are You When I'm Not Looking"From: 'All About Tonight' (2010)
Shelton had his eye on this hit for several years. First recorded by his buddy Joe Nichols in 2007, "All About Tonight" went all the way to No. 1 with Shelton. Wondering out loud what the woman who holds his interest does when he isn't around, he questions everything she does: "Do you pour a little something on the rocks? / Slide down the hallway in your socks?," then gets to the point with "Do you listen to your music quietly? / And when it feels just right, are you thinkin' of me?" His flawless performance offers a rare glimpse into Shelton's sensitive side.
"Honey Bee"From 'Red River Blue' (2011)
Shelton's ninth No.1 hit is a song the singer-songwriter says comes along all too rarely.
"It's that song that you hope to get once in your career," he tells The Boot. "You don't have to think that hard about it. It's just fun and people like to hear it."
This tune promises, "You'll be my sunny day, I'll be your shade tree / You'll be my honeysuckle, I'll be your honey bee," and the catchy hit shattered Garth Brooks' 12-year record for the most downloads for a song by a male artist in its first week.
"Hillbilly Bone"From: 'Hillbilly Bone' (2010)
Shelton sang this song as a duet with Trace Adkins and took it to the top of the charts, thanks in part to the humorous video that features the two self-proclaimed country boys trying to dine in a an upscale restaurant in the city. The two friends sang, "We all got a hillbilly bone down deep inside / No matter where you're from, you just can't hide it / When the band starts banging and the fiddle saws / You can't help but hollerin' 'yee-haw!'" The buddies clearly had a lot of fun with the song, and they also garnered an ACM Award for Vocal Event of the Year with it.