Awards

Blake Shelton Revisits His 2001 Debut Single 'Austin' at the 2021 ACM Awards

Blake Shelton
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ACM

Blake Shelton performs onstage at the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry on April 18, 2021 in Nashville.

On Sunday night (April 18), Blake Shelton turned back the hands of time and revisited a classic from his acclaimed catalog. Not only did he perform his 20-year-old hit "Austin," but he also gifted fans his new record "Minimum Wage." 

Backed by his band, Shelton kicked off his two-song medley with his first-ever debut single. Released in 2001, "Austin" zoomed to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, where he reigned supreme for five weeks. "She left without leaving a number / Said, she needed to clear her mind / He figured she'd gone back to Austin / Cuz she talked about it all the time," he sang. 

Following his fun-filled rendition of "Austin," Shelton sped to the present-day and whipped out his latest song, "Minimum Wage." Though the song initially received backlash upon its arrival earlier this year for being "tone-deaf," Shelton addressed the controversy in an interview with CMT in January. 

"Just like probably 95 percent of artists out there, I struggled for so long to get by," he relayed. "But at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade those times for anything. 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?' 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 I think about all the jobs and things that I did over the years, just so I could play music for free somewhere."

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