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    2011 a Breakthrough Year for Blake Shelton

    2011 a Breakthrough Year for Blake Shelton
    2011 a Breakthrough Year for Blake Shelton
    Mary Morningstar

    Blake Shelton reached Number One with his 2001 debut single “Austin,” but it’s taken him a decade to reach superstar status.  But, 2011 will be remembered as his breakthrough year.

    Shelton’s eighth album, “Red River Blue,” recently became his first Number One debut on the Billboard 200 chart.  Its title track features Blake’s wife, Country singer Miranda Lambert, on harmony vocals.

    Shelton won the Country Music Association’s Male Vocalist of the Year award in November 2010.  Since then, he has earned crossover success with critics and music fans beyond the Country genre.  Much of that newfound popularity came earlier this year, when he served as a celebrity coach on the nationally-televised singing competition, “The Voice.”  He also received an enormous amount of attention for his high-profile marriage to Miranda this past May.

    “Honey Bee” was the lead single released from “Red River Blue.”  It took only 10 weeks for the track to reach the top of the Country chart, where it spent four consecutive weeks. The ninth Number One single of Blake’s career earned platinum certification for selling one million digital downloads.

    Shelton is supporting “Red River Blue” with a North American tour that runs through early October.  Many of the dates are with Country star Brad Paisley.

    Shelton has also announced that he’ll sit alongside Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine to judge the second season of “The Voice,” which begins in February 2012.

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