Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP and Twitter/BlakeShelton

Blake Shelton Receives Posthumous Gift From Earl Thomas Conley

Blake Shelton received a special, unique and posthumous gift from an all-time favorite singer-songwriter turned devoted friend, the late Earl Thomas Conley.

Shelton took to social media on Jan. 13, sharing a gold record from Conley's 1985 Greatest Hits compilation for RCA, which attained gold status in 1989. The plaque bears Shelton's name and a special message from Conley: "Proud to be your friend."

The post implies that Shelton's gift from Conley, who died on April 10, 2019, just now made it to Oklahoma.

"Earl has been gone for close to 2 years now so you can imagine how shocked, happy & honored I am to receive this," Shelton wrote. "Just the thought that he was thinking of me is overwhelming. It will hang proudly in my home. Thanks to my friend Mike Pyle in Muscle Shoals for getting it to me."

Longtime country music fans will remember Conley for his 18 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, such as "Fire and Smoke," "Holding Her and Loving You," "Somewhere Between Right and Wrong," "Nobody Falls Like a Fool," "Once in a Blue Moon," "What I'd Say," "Angel in Disguise" and "Don't Make It Easy For Me."

The Ohio native also sang memorable duets with fellow superstars Emmylou Harris ("We Believe in Happy Endings"), Keith Whitley ("Brotherly Love") and Anita Pointer ("Too Many Times").

It's not the first time Shelton's publicly praised Conley as both a creative giant and a true friend.

"Earl had the saddest eyebrows when he was singing," Shelton remembered during a Sept. 2019 celebration of Conley's life at the Country Music Hall of Fame's CMA Theater (as quoted by the Tennessean).

Fittingly, Shelton's favorite memory involves a commercial for a Conley compilation.

"What really struck me about it was they started going through all these songs and (they were all my favorites,)" he continued. "From that moment on, he became my favorite country artist of all time. It's crazy that even through that cheesy commercial, he was still able to have a connection. That's the power of Earl's songs and ... his voice."

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Shelton went on to co-write one of his earliest country hits, "All Over Me," with Conley.

Shelton joined country stars Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, John Anderson, Wade Hayes, Joe Diffie and Neal McCoy that night in celebrating the life and songs of Conley. Other guests included bluegrass icon Dale Ann Bradley plus Conley's daughter, Erinn Scates.

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