How Blake Shelton’s Late Brother Richie Sparked His Love for Music and Set Him on the Path to Country Stardom

Blake Shelton remains one of the biggest names in country music. He has launched dozens of hits to the top of the charts, won a case full of awards including nine Grammys, and continues to make music. Additionally, he had an incredibly successful run on The Voice and currently hosts his celebrity competition show, Barmageddon. In short, the Oklahoma native has done well for himself over the years. However, he may not have become the star he is today without the influence of his late brother Richie Shelton.

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Richie was only 24 years old when he died in a tragic car accident in 1990. At the time, Blake was only 14. In his eyes, his older brother was the coolest guy on the planet. Like many little brothers around the world, Blake wanted to be just like Richie. It just so happened that the elder Shelton brother was a music lover.

[RELATED: Vince Gill Dedicates Tear-Jerking Performance To Toby Keith and Blake Shelton’s Late Brother]

Back in 2014, Shelton spoke to 60 Minutes about how his big brother led him to love music. “His bedroom was right across the hallway from mine when I was little,” Shelton recalled. “He was listening to Hank Williams Jr. or Waylon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, or Bob Seeger. Just whatever was popular, really,” he added. “Richie loved all music and I would be sitting there going, ‘Man, that guy’s my hero. That’s the coolest guy. He’s my big brother.”

In an interview with Cowboys and Indians, Shelton spoke more about the influence his brother had on him. “For me, my brother was my big brother. I mean, I wanted to be him. I wanted to look like him, dress like him, listen to what he listened to, and be into the things he was into,” he explained. “So, when he was killed in a car accident, it was literally like the world went silent. There was a void in my world all of a sudden, and I’m still not over it. I’m just used to it.”

Blake Shelton Keeps His Brother’s Memory Alive

Shelton keeps his older brother’s memory alive by paying tribute to him when he gets the chance. For instance, he talked about him during season 23 of The Voice. After NOIVAS talked about losing his brother, Shelton related to him, talking about Richie. “My brother, he would have freaked out if he had known what I went on to do. He was such a huge music fan. You’d hear him coming six blocks away, the stereo blaring out of his truck,” he said.

Additionally, when Shelton got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last year, he dedicated it to his later brother.

Most recently, Shelton hosted an All for the Hall benefit concert at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The show featured guest performances from some of the biggest country stars from the Sooner State including Vince Gill. When Gill took the stage, he performed “Go Rest High on That Mountain” and dedicated it to Richie Shelton and Toby Keith.

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