Blake Shelton isn’t here to listen to the ‘mindless backlash’ of his latest song ‘Minimum Wage’. In a new interview with CMT, the singer revealed that he simply doesn’t understand the backlash surrounding the single.
“It’s literally a love song about how if times are tight and you ain’t got much money—as long as you have love and you’re happy—at the end of the day, that’s all any of us can really hope for,” he explains. “You got it if you got that. That’s all that matters.”
The 44-year-old added that he could “barely” make ends meet in the early days of his singing career. “Those days when the big struggle was, ‘Man, do I pay my rent or my electric bill, or do I just say screw it and go buy some beer?'” Blake recalled, “You had to decide because you didn’t have enough to go around. But those really were some of the best days of my life that I still think about all the time.”
And to those who don’t understand Blake’s intended theme of the song, he says, “If that’s offensive to you, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.”
Blake believes that those who criticized the song “clearly hadn’t heard the song or read the lyrics,” because from his perspective if they did they’d understand the emotions behind it, rather than take issue with the romanticization of living near or below the poverty line.
“I just feel like these days, there are people out there who don’t want to know the truth. They just want to hear what they want to hear, and they want to pick a fight. No matter what your intention is, no matter what the truth is, they want it to be something that they can be upset about so that they can get on social media and try to grab a headline,” he continues. “With ‘Minimum Wage,’ at first I thought, ‘Wow, I guess I just I’ve missed something here.’ And the more I read into this, I realized this was really not real.”
Blake added that ‘Minimum Wage’ is a quintessential country song, making him wonder if the backlash to the song means it’s time to “bow out” from the music world altogether. That said, Blake has no plans to actually retire. Instead, he says he’s forging his own path, regardless of the criticism.
He insists, “There won’t be much left to play or write about on country radio if this is something that we have to think twice about. So I’m going to put out the records that resonate with me and my life and not look back.”
As for why Blake waited to address the backlash, he says, “We’re at a point now where it doesn’t even deserve a response,” he says. “That’s why I didn’t come out initially and say anything because they’re not entitled to a response from me. This is absolutely ridiculous.”
Shelton shared the music video during a virtual appearance on NBC’s New Year’s Eve special. Following Shelton’s “Minimum Wage” debut on the televised event, some viewers took to Twitter to share their reactions. Many urged the celebrity to “read the room.” amid the coronavirus pandemic and its lasting effects on the American economy and unemployment. Others called out a line from the chorus: “Girl, your love can make a man feel rich on minimum wage.”
The song is about Shelton’s love for his fiancée, Gwen Stefani, according to country music blog Taste of Country’s recount of the singer’s appearance on the NBC New Year’s Eve special. Shelton and Stefani, met while working on the TV show ‘The Voice’ and started dating in 2015. They announced their engagement at the end of October 2020.
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