Blake Shelton doesn’t have any idea what it’s like for people living on minimum wage

Singer Gwen Stefani and boyfriend/singer Blake Shelton arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere Of Forrest Films' 'Bennett's War' held at the Steven J. Ross Theater at Warner Bros. Studios on August 13, 2019 in Burbank, Los Angeles, California, United States. (

Blake Shelton has somehow been able to maintain his “brand” as a Good Ol’ Boy Oklahoma redneck despite the fact that he spends at least half of every year in LA, filming The Voice and living with his rock-star fiancee Gwen Stefani. I’m surrounded by rednecks and good ol’ boys where I live in Virginia, and Blake really has it down. I don’t doubt that he plays up his accent and his whole Oklahoma shtick, but it’s based on who Blake is or was originally. But maybe LA has changed him. Maybe he’s no longer in touch with those Oklahoma roots. Blake has a new song and one of the lyrics involves the minimum wage and people are MAD.

Blake Shelton is facing backlash for debuting a song titled “Minimum Wage” while people in America continue to struggle amid the coronavirus pandemic. “The Voice” coach debuted the new single on NBC’s New Year’s Eve television special alongside Carson Daly to help ring in 2021. The country singer told the host that his fiancee, Gwen Stefani, helped get her brother, Todd, to direct the video.

The artist’s new song has to do with his love for the 51-year-old “Hollaback Girl” singer and contains a lyric in the chorus that upset many people who saw the broadcast.

“Girl, your love can make a man feel rich on minimum wage.”

Given the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has caused many businesses to shut down and put countless Americans out of work, people were quick to take to Twitter to lambaste the singer for releasing a song they believed was “tone deaf” given the current climate.

“The irony of listening to a millionaire Blake Shelton singing about ‘love on minimum wage’ at the end of 2020 might be lost on its target audience,” one user wrote.

“I love his music but the timing for Minimum Wage isn’t great. With so many people out of work and struggling the song feels a little tone deaf. I’d like to hear songs that are more personal. Wish he wrote more of his own stuff because he’s an incredible song writer,” another wrote in a tweet that was unavailable as of Sunday.

Someone else agreed, writing: “Does anyone else find Blake Shelton’s “Minimum Wage” song to be incredibly tone deaf to our country’s current state?”

The song has not yet been fully released and Shelton has yet to publicly comment on the backlash on social media.

[From Page Six]

I think it’s just a bad lyric? I mean, it’s out of touch and all of that, completely. But surely there was an easier way to write a lyric with the sentiment of “you make me feel rich” or “money doesn’t matter when I’m with you.” I don’t know. It’s so weird, the branding of country music demands that rich country stars play-act down-home redneck vibes and performative poverty, and Blake basically accidentally revealed that he has no idea what life is like for someone trying to live on minimum wage.

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Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red, social media.

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50 Responses to “Blake Shelton doesn’t have any idea what it’s like for people living on minimum wage”

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  1. ChloeCat says:

    I have an irrational dislike for this big goober. I have a feeling he’s using Gwen. She can do so much better than him.

    • Seraphina says:

      Is that her in the last picture looking like, ummmmm a good ole girl?????

    • AnnaKist says:

      Oh, good, ChloeCat. That’s the word I wanted – irrational. I feel the same, but no surprises, really. There are very few people in the public eye who make me go, “Yeah, I like you. You seem like a good person.”

  2. Megan2 says:

    May I mention something that is sort of off-topic? Not relating to Blake, but relating to Country Music in general?

    I actually really like country music… but lately I’ve been inside my quiet apartment almost all the time and it has given me the opportunity to really HEAR the lyrics, you know? And yesterday, I heard what is possibly the worst song in the whole world and it has put me off the entire genre; I’m Still A Guy by Brad Paisley.

    I mean, you can go look up the lyrics if you like. But the fact that there isn’t any outrage over that but this one lyric in a mediocre song is generating outrage? Apparently country fans are ok with INSANE levels of sexism and misogyny, but oh heck don’t talk about poor people? I mean, the stereotypes speak for themselves.

    Also; Brad Paisley is and always has been trash; I’ll never forget that confederate flag song he wrote that somehow, for some reason, featured LL Cool J. I’m surprised he wasn’t storming the capitol along with his fans this week, tbh.

    Imma turn off the radio and put on some nice K-Pop playlists as a palate cleanser. Country music may not be my thing after all.

    • GuestWho says:

      I just went and read those lyrics. The man is ginormous douche.

      “My eyebrows ain’t plucked
      There’s a gun in my truck
      Oh thank God I’m still a guy”

      That’s not even the worst of it…sigh.

      This is why I’ll be sticking with Springsteen forever!

      • elle says:

        I cannot stand Brad Paisley’s madlibs for rednecks lyrics. He knows exactly what plays to that audience and spoon-feeds it to them.

    • Bee says:

      Omg just went to look at the lyrics! That song is crass and ridiculous! How has that not gotten more attention- it’s straight up trash and vile compared to what Blake is singing. 🤯

    • Sam the Pink says:

      That is actually nowhere close to the worst of Brad Paisley. Look up up the duet he did with LL Cool J. It’s called “Accidental Racist.” Just…look it up. I cannot possibly do it justice here. Trust me.

      • Megan2 says:

        @Sam the Pink – that’s it!! I couldn’t remember the title, I always just think of it as the confederate flag song. LOL

    • Drea says:

      Please, if you must, start listening to Sturgill Simpson.

      A ridiculous talent, in both bluegrass and country, and not a bro.

      • Katie says:

        I was going to say there is a whole universe of what I guess is called alt country that is not … like … this.

      • Megan2 says:

        @Drea & Katie – thank you for this! I’ll spend some of my weekend looking for better options. =)

      • LeonsMomma says:

        Here for the Sturgill Simpson love — also saw him perform at New Orleans Jazz Fest — great show.

        Also see: Alabama Shakes (another great Jazz Fest show), though they are classifed more blues/rock.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Sturgill’s cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” is crazy good.

      • deplhi says:

        Yes! Sturgill! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

        Also check out Tyler Childers. Sturgill produced his commercial debut album (the kid’s been releasing indie LPs for a while), and while in quarantine, Tyler got sober, learned to play the fiddle, and even wrote a bluegrass song condemning systemic racism.

        “Long, Violent History”:
        https://youtu.be/2_I3Rp1CQak

    • clarice mcclellan says:

      I just went to look up those lyrics and OMG. Saying that he doesn’t get that a backrub means she doesn’t want sex because he’s just a guy? Talking about men being neutered because they have personal hygeine? You’re right,more people should be talking about this. And it just reaffirms my distate for most modern country music.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        I think he’s saying that she shouldn’t be shocked when he tries to go further than she wants, because he’s a man and men are untamable horndogs who simply cannot help themselves. In the song, she’s saying “just a backrub” and then when he tries to grope her, she gets upset, and he’s defending himself by saying “I’m a guy.”

        ….Yeah.

    • Elizabeth Phillips says:

      Yeah, I’m from Tishomingo, Oklahoma, so I’ve been hearing about this goober for years. I was treated like crap for preferring classical music and easy listening even when I was a child, which is one of the reasons I no longer live there.

    • derps says:

      I was a teen in the early and mid 90s and grew up in a rural southern area with country music. I had to leave that nonsense behind when I started learning the real history of our country (at a private Christian uni too! there’s no excuse for Jesus-shouting racists). I missed the vibes and the sounds for a long time until I discovered Americana and American Folk music. Both of which have more diversity than country music – diversity of skin color and diversity of views and experiences. Try some of that if you need some twang in your day. Start with Emmylou Harris, and search for who says they are influence by her to branch our. Also, read her interviews when she talks about young musicians today. And there was a show on PBS, must be 5 years ago now, that had so many amazing people. It’s how I first learned of Alabama Shakes and the Carolina Chocolate Drops to name only 2.

    • Meg says:

      The last decade country music has clearly been the result of some algorithm the marketing department of country music labels are using. I listen to older music of that genre but much of the new stuff is garbage

  3. Amy Bee says:

    I can see why he and Gwen are a couple, they’re both like pretending to be people/cultures they’re not.

    • MyOpinion says:

      @ Amy Bee, they do! You would have never been able to get her into camouflage before!!

    • Queen Meghan’s Hand says:

      At the end of the day, she’s a woman from Orange County, CA.

    • Amando says:

      She molds herself into whomever the man she is with wants her to be. I’ve been a fan since 96 and I don’t even recognize her anymore (and not just because of the enormous amount of plastic surgery she has had). Eventually, her age will catch up to her and Blake will find himself a younger blonde.

  4. MyOpinion says:

    I despise country music and that song isn’t tone deaf, it’s DOA. You have got to be f#cking kidding me that someone, anyone would write this and actually sign it.

  5. Watson says:

    I think that bro country music is extremely formulaic and has lost its roots in story telling. This lyric is not surprising to me in the least. Thankfully we have a whole new crop of female country stars to combat this (even though they are rarely played on country radio at all cause of sexism).

    • MarcelMarcel says:

      ITA one of the bright spots for me in lockdown was country music. My friend knows I’m a music loving feminist so he introduced me to so many amazing womxn country musicians. (And we also drank way too much whiskey but that’s an occupational hazard for country music fans).

    • ItReallyIsYou,NotMe k8 says:

      This is why I love Maddie and Tae’s Girl.in a Country song because it calls out all the misogyny in country music lyrics. Now we just need someone to write a song that calls out the misogynoir and misogy-LGBTQ+ (sorry for making up words here).

  6. MarcelMarcel says:

    Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt showcases that material success, creative expression & authenticity can co-exist. Hell, he even made a point of performing at prisons & connecting with the people locked up there. Dolly Parton makes beautiful music, acknowledges her commercial success and gives back to her community.

    Blake Shelton is commercially successful but mediocre imo. I love country musicians like The Highwomen, Patsy Cline, Yola, Margo Price, John Prine… if you look beyond boring bros like Blake there are loads of amazing heartfelt songs in the country music genre.

    • ClaraBelle says:

      I love all those singers you mentioned too. Oh, and Lucinda Williams! Cash’s song about his wife’s death was maybe the rawest most moving songs I’ve ever heard. I’ve huge respect for him, so honest during his ups and downs.

      • MarcelMarcel says:

        @clarabell I just listened to Lucinda Williams and she’s an absolute treasure. Thanks for the music recommendation!

      • Carrie says:

        Something About What Happens When We Talk by Lucinda is one of my all time favourite songs.

  7. Veronica S. says:

    Poverty has been a common theme in a lot of older country music, but like…as an examination of the hardship of rural poverty, not as a throwaway line about how it’s really not that bad if y’all got a good woman!!

  8. Liz version 700 says:

    He is such a giant spectacular jerk

  9. Teresa says:

    Country music always panders to the people they can’t relate to. It’s all woe to masculine poor white me. My pickup truck is broke and my ex a wh*re. Blake is no better or worse than the vast majority of the rest.

  10. Megaladondon says:

    Agreed on Paisley and most new country. There are artists that are relatively new that don’t play that game. Check out Chris Stapleton, Sturgull Simpson and Tyler Childers. Stapleton gets radio play, but the other two do not despite great record sales. Country radio is mostly trash.

    • Katie says:

      Yes! Plus the women of country. And not just new. Alt country as a thing has been around quite a while. Old 97s formed in 1993 for example.

    • Humbugged says:

      Stapleton like Cash ,Haggard (who was still singing Woking Man Blues until he died ) and Blake did not kill anyone either yet yet they are know for songs about killing someone

  11. Sarah B says:

    It makes me so sad to think about Gwen Stefani. I’ve loved her for 25 years and she was my idol growing up but she has such terrible self-esteem. That last picture really smacked me in the face. She has no identity. She just dresses and acts however her man wants her to, even back to the times of her dating Tony and her wearing bindi. And with Gavin–imagine wearing a full face of make up every single day of your life because you’re too concerned with letting your own husband see you fresh-faced.

    • Willow says:

      You are spot on about that. I just listened to an interview she gave. When she talked about Blake it was like he was her whole existence and the only reason she was happy. So sad.

  12. Sam the Pink says:

    Yeah, I think its just a bad lyric. I get that what he was going for was the concept of “spiritually rich” – you know, when you lack material things but still have gratitude for what you do what, etc. I mean, okay, I get it. But it’s more about “dude, read the room.” People today do not want to hear about how things are going great for you. If he had held this for a while and released it after this whole mess is over, I doubt it would fall out this way.

    The travesty is that Blake Shelton is actually a decent songwriter when he wants to be. He wrote Over You, which is an incredible meditation on grief about his brother’s early death (he gave the song to Miranda Lambert because he always sad he could not perform it himself). This is just a bad song.

    • Jennifer says:

      Someone named Jacklyn Krol wrote the minimum wage song. It really is such a craptastically dumb song.

  13. Jaded says:

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been some clap-back from groups like The Chicks (nee Dixie Chicks) etc. It’s a horribly demeaning and insensitive lyric and he needs to write another song about how f*cking sorry he is for being such a thoughtless bone-head.

  14. ClaireB says:

    I want to thank the CBers here for giving me some new musicians to look up. I grew up listening to George Strait with my dad, but I grew to dislike the whiny misogyny of the country genre. I mostly stick to blues now.

  15. Lucy says:

    Gwen is WAY better at that sort of metaphores than him. He could learn a thing or two about her in that sense.

  16. NYStateofMind says:

    Idk what it is about this guy but I never cared for him. Not handsome, not talented, not funny, not charming. I do not in any way get the hype. And he and Gwen make the weirdest looking couple on the planet. I just don’t get their gig at all.