Blake Shelton
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20 Great Blake Shelton Songs, From the Lighthearted to the Sentimental

Blake Shelton's been responsible for banger after banger over the past 20-plus years.

Blake Shelton remains one of the best song interpreters in modern country music. Like his peers Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and ex-wife Miranda Lambert, Shelton's sound and image bridge the narrow gap between the pop-friendly "hat acts" of the 1990s and our current situation, making his songs appeal to different generations of country music fans. He's also incredibly fun to watch as a coach on The Voice or during his hilarious appearances on talk shows because of the same aw-shucks personality that shines through in several of the songs listed below — though for the most part, our picks are more sentimental than slapstick.

Despite all of this, Shelton gets dismissed by some as being "too pop." However, with the right material, he becomes the sort of emotive storyteller that's long captured country fans' imaginations. In fact, with a rougher image — which really would be phony — and a more consistent "Kiss My Country Ass" attitude, he might be as well-received as Eric Church and others revered by radio-friendly traditionalists.

Consider the following 20-song playlist, whether you're a diehard member of Team Blake or someone who needs to be sold on his catalog's undeniable creative and lyrical depth.

20. "Boys 'Round Here" (Feat. Pistol Annies and Friends) (2013)

LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 07: (L-R) Singers Ashley Monroe, Blake Shelton, Angaleena Presley, and Miranda Lambert of Pistol Annies perform onstage during the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Written by Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson and Craig Wiseman, "Boys 'Round Here" is a prime example of Shelton sprinkling his sense of humor into his discography. The Pistol Annies collaboration is playful on purpose, with ample jokes about Southwestern lifestyles. It's goofy, but there's always been room for tomfoolery in country music. For similar silliness, revisit Shelton's redneck rap track "Money." Listen here.

19. "Bible Verses" (2021)

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 31: In this image released on December 31, Blake Shelton performs during the New Year's Eve Live Nashville's Big Bash at Ole Red in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Green Room PR

One of Shelton's more religious selections, "Bible Verses" is a modern country Pilgrim's Progress. It's about a Saturday sinner and Sunday saint not measuring up to the Good Book's commandments and parables. Still, our main character knows that the Christian God's always there — and patient with those seeking a level of faith where it'll finally feel like "those apostles are giving me the Gospel/ and not the third degree." Listen here.

18. "Some Beach" (2004)

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 09: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Singers Blake Shelton (L) and Trace Adkins (R) perform at Nissan Stadium during day 2 of the 2017 CMA Music Festival on June 8, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee, from 2004.

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Fans of modern country love the beach. Blame it on Jimmy Buffett if you must, but the Salt Life has done wonders for the careers of more than just Kenny Chesney. Shelton furthers tropical escapism for weekend warriors wanting more than a backyard barbecue. For more Myrtle Beach vibes, press play on "Makin' It Up as You Go." Listen to "Some Beach" here.

17. "Hillbilly Bone" (Feat. Trace Adkins) (2009)

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 09: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Singers Blake Shelton (L) and Trace Adkins (R) perform at Nissan Stadium during day 2 of the 2017 CMA Music Festival on June 8, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Richard Gabriel Ford/Getty Images

With the help of baritone-voiced Trace Adkins, Shelton harnessed the bravado and excitement of Montgomery Gentry. It covers the "bro-country" checklist in a way that's charmingly tongue-in-cheek— a self-awareness that's lacking from many comparable hits by the usual suspects. And as a great superstar collaboration should, it evokes images of two friends cutting up in the studio until it's time to be all business. Listen here.

16. "Goodbye Time" (2005)

NASHVILLE - JUNE 10: Blake Shelton performs at the CMA Music Festival (formerly known as FanFair), June 10, 2005 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Rusty Russell/Getty Images

As a song interpreter, Shelton brought his own vocal touch to this song, originally recorded by his pop-accessible country forefather, Conway Twitty— who's name-dropped above in "Hillbilly Bone." It serves as a reminder that Shelton does indeed honor Nashville legends, even when he plays up modern pop sensibilities. Listen here.

15. "She Wouldn't Be Gone" (2008)

NEW YORK - JUNE 19: Musician Blake Shelton performs onstage during the 39th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony at the Marriott Marquis on June 19, 2008 in New York City.

Jemal Countess/WireImage

Shelton mastered blending Oklahoma country tradition with the modern, stadium-ready formula in the late aughts. "She Wouldn't Be Gone" stands as a textbook example of this by crossing the streams between timeless tales of heartbreak and the revved-up stompers of Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean and countless others. Listen here.

14. "Corn" (2021)

Blake Shelton speaks onstage at the 2023 CMT Music Awards held at Moody Center on April 2, 2023 in Austin, Texas.

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Shelton's grown more sentimental as an artist as he's settled into life as a ranch-dwelling spouse and step-parent. More on that when we get to instant classic "I Lived It." Another solid example wasn't a single. It's a deep cut from 2021's Body Language that frankly outshines the better-known George Michael homage "Minimum Wage." Listen here.

13. "The More I Drink" (2007)

Blake Shelton at the The Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee

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This might be the most Oklahoman-or-Texan-turned-Nashvillain country radio hit imaginable— meaning it's easy to imagine Toby Keith or Ronnie Dunn belting it out with similar conviction. It didn't light up the charts in its time, stalling at No. 19. Yet it stands the test of time while inching its way to gold certification. Listen here.

12. "God Gave Me You" (2011)

Musician Blake Shelton performs onstage at the 44th Annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 10, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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So many great country music talents, from Red Foley to Carrie Underwood, injected personal faith into some of their best material. Shelton's presumed testimony adds credibility and fire to this and such spiritual tunes as "South of Heaven" and "Savior's Shadow." "God Gave Me You" was written and first recorded by Christian artist Dave Barnes. Listen here.

11. "The Baby" (2002)

LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 9: Singer Blake Shelton attends the 29th Annual American Music Awards on January 9, 2002 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.

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This gut-wrenching song about losing a loved one would be adored by Shelton's harshest detractors if Vince Gill had recorded it years prior. That said, Shelton might be the only one other than Gill in contemporary country who could do this heartbreaking song justice. (And on that note, a Shelton-Gill duet would be quite the 30th anniversary celebration for this one.) Listen here.

10. "Sangria" (2015)

Blake Shelton performs onstage during the 2021 iHeartCountry Festival.

Erika Goldring/WireImage

As Dan + Shay did with "Tequila," Shelton dodged drinking song cliches. Instead of lazily singing about scoping out romantic prospects while at the bar with his buddies, Shelton gets sensual with wordplay on par with some of Ashley McBryde's most biting double entendres. Listen here.

9. "Nobody But You" (Feat. Gwen Stefani) (2020)

 Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton perform during the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards on August 31, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The ACM Awards airs on September 16, 2020 with some live and some prerecorded segments.

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Shelton and his spouse Gwen Stefani shattered notions that a pop-country superstar was a weird fit, creatively and otherwise, alongside a ska-punk-turned-pop icon with this, the first of consecutive platinum-selling country radio No. 1. How can anyone give this one a spin and not believe that both have found a match made in heaven? Listen here.

8. "Lonely Tonight" (Feat. Ashley Monroe) (2014)

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 05: Ashley Monroe and Blake Shelton perform during the 48th annual CMA awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Terry Wyatt/FilmMagic

Shelton and Pistol Annies member Ashley Monroe retell the old story of a debatable yet irresistible one-night-stand. Both talented vocalists bring out each others' best with a duet that's pop enough for Shelton's fans and traditional enough for Monroe's. Listen here.

7. "Happy Anywhere" (Feat. Gwen Stefani) (2020)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 26: Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton attend the 2022 Matrix Awards at The Ziegfeld Ballroom on October 26, 2022 in New York City.

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Shelton's romance with Stefani has upped his love song game, for sure. They've made beautiful music together as duet partners, as well, from "A Guy With a Girl" to this highlight of 2021 album Body Language. Outside of the context of celebrity interest stories, it a catchy, fun country love song that would've worked back when Dottie West and Kenny Rogers reigned over the charts. Listen here.

6. "Home" (2008)

DICKSON, TN - MARCH 31: Recording artist Blake Shelton performs at the Craig Morgan Charity Event acoustic concert at the Renaissance Center March 31, 2009 in Dickson, Tennessee.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Three years after co-writer Michael Buble made "Home" into an Adult Contemporary hit, Shelton asked his Canadian pal for a favor. Shelton added a hint of twang to the ballad and scored his own No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, ending a four-year cold streak when it came to chart-toppers. Listen here.

5. "I Lived It" (2018)

Blake Shelton performs onstage during the 2021 iHeartCountry Festival Presented By Capital One at Frank Irwin Center on October 30, 2021 in Austin, Texas.

Erika Goldring/WireImage

Fair complaints that country radio's top stars fall back way too often on party songs make sweet, sentimental tunes that sneak onto playlists stand out even more. For examples, revisit Luke Bryan's "Build Me a Daddy" or this. Both represent the down-home nostalgia at the roots of country storytelling. Plus, Shelton's the right country-boy-made-good tour guide for this trek through simpler times. Listen here.

4. "Ol' Red" (2002)

GATLINBURG, TENNESSEE - MARCH 13: Country artist Blake Shelton performs at Ole Red Gatlinburg on March 13, 2019 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Ole Red Gatlinburg

Sometimes, a good song needs the right singer (see also the histories of "The Gambler" and "Song of the South"). Shelton deserves a little old school cred for making a prison and dog-centric hit out of something the great George Jones and Kenny Rogers could only turn into album filler. It became the namesake of Shelton's Ole Red chain of bars. Listen here.

3. "God's Country" (2019)

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Blake Shelton and Jenee Fleenor performs onstage during the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

One of Shelton's more recent hits can best be described as a country-rock anthem at its finest.

As soon as Shelton heard songwriters Devin Dawson, Jordan Schmidt and Hardy's co-write, he stopped in his tracks and knew he had to record it. Everything about the song — from its message to its tempo — is perfect for Shelton's booming vocals. It earned Shelton a No. 1 country single as well as Single of the Year at the 2019 CMA and ACM Awards. Plus, the music video offers a surreal look at the singer's Oklahoma ranch. Listen here.

2. "Honey Bee" (2011)

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 08: Five time 2011 CMA awards nominee, Recording Artist Blake Shelton (center) celebrates at The BMI #1 Party for Blake Shelton's "Honey Bee" Co-writers Rhett Akins (left) and Ben Hayslip (right) at the offices of Warner Brothers Nashville on September 8, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Rick Diamond/ Getty Images for BMI

This sweet, sentimental Rhett Atkins and Ben Hayslip co-write exemplifies pop-friendly country that, despite what naysayers claim, continues the lineage of classic story-songs. Indeed, it's whimsical in a way that could've worked for Roger Miller or the first artist to record "Tequila Shelia," Bobby Bare. Yet that sense of levity doesn't interfere with this being a wedding playlist fixture. Listen here.

1. "Austin" (2001)

Blake Shelton on 11/30/01 in Chicago, Il.

Paul Natkin/WireImage

Shelton's early years, back when he was a wide-eyed Oklahoma native navigating a changing country music landscape, gave fans this Billboard chart-topping tale of a demoralizing round of phone tag. The talk of old school answering machines and the touch-tone phone in the music video date this one a little, but it remains the singer's finest recording. This stand-out was from Shelton's debut album, which also gave us "All Over Me." And since his debut single remains his best song, his buddies surely tease him that there was nowhere to go but down (though based on the rest of this list, Shelton still rides high as a country artist). Listen here.

This story was first published in 2018.

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