Blake Shelton Celebrates ‘Overwhelming’ Country Music Hall of Fame Exhibit
Blake Shelton attended a reception in his honor at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Monday night (June 6), to celebrate the grand opening of his exhibit, Blake Shelton: Based on a True Story. The exhibit holds a number of artifacts and various memorabilia from throughout Shelton's life and career, including suits, his first royalty check, awards and the famous red swivel chair he sits in on The Voice.
"It’s crazy. The clothes part of it, that’s a little more boring for me," Shelton told The Boot and other reporters during the event. "The awards, it’s weird to see all those lined up there like that, because I had them in my house, obviously -- but it’s one thing to have them over in a corner in your house, but to see it how [it is] displayed here, it’s overwhelming for me."
There are also some items that Shelton wishes could have been in the exhibit ... but which he no longer possesses. In fact, most of the items on display were found in one Christmas popcorn tin that held almost all of Shelton's mementos from his early childhood until now.
"I’m the opposite of a pack rat; whatever the opposite of a pack rat is, is me," Shelton shares. "[I got rid of] really cool sentimental things that I should have kept along the way -- it sucks now. I turn 40 in just a few days. Now that I’m getting older, it sucks to know that there’s things that I didn’t hang on to, or gave them away because I didn’t want to keep them, or they’re just clutter."
One of the things he regrets not having the most is the first guitar he ever bought.
"I don’t know what I did with it," Shelton laments. "I couldn’t find that guitar anywhere. I still don’t know where it is. I called my Mom: I said, ‘Do you have that guitar?’ and she goes, ‘No! And you might know where it is if you didn’t throw everything away and give it to everybody!’ I have no idea where it might be."
One thing the 39-year-old did manage to hold onto is a notepad holding the first song he ever wrote, called "That Girl Made a Fool Out of Me."
"I can’t believe I kept that; I literally can't believe it," Shelton says. "I remember having that little notepad, and anytime I wanted to write a song, I’d put it in there. There’s a couple other ideas or half-written songs, I think, in it, when I flipped through it, but I saw that one and thought, ‘Oh man, I’ve got to put that in the exhibit.’
"That’s the most impressive thing for me, that I was able to keep up with," he adds. "I don’t even have the first guitar that I bought, that I worked all summer to buy. I don’t have that, but I have this Post-it note thing down there that has my first song, so I’m very proud of myself for, whatever reason, keeping up with that thing."
Plenty of other Country Music Hall of Fame exhibits have featured concert attire such as T-shirts and jeans, but Shelton's exhibit instead features designer suits, which is how the Oklahoma native likes to perform.
"I don’t like myself in a T-shirt," Shelton explains. "I’m one of those guys that’s left from 2001, which was when I came out. And in 2001, you didn’t show up wearing a T-shirt and a baseball cap to be on stage, and that’s just still my mentality. Clearly I’m one of the last ones standing. I’m not saying I like to get totally dressed up, but I want to look like I put on something nice and fixed my hair. I’m just old, I guess."
Although Blake Shelton: Based on a True Story is a temporary exhibit, Shelton still feels honored to be recognized alongside the many country music legends who are housed in the Hall of Fame.
"It’s unbelievable that I have an exhibit that exists with all of this history and this -- this is the foundation," he says. "Every generation lays another level to the foundation of country music. We all have our way of putting a stamp on it, and I think when we’re talking about my generation and my personal stamp, this feels like the lamest, stupidest one in here ...
"Maybe 20 years from now, I’m not going to have this thing, but maybe I’ll have a little thing ... and that’s more than I could ever ask for," Shelton adds. "That’s crazy. This is so crazy to me, to be part of this building, because it seems like a lot, but it’s really just a handful, when you think about how many people have attempted this and been through this town and wanted to make a mark at any level … To make a mark in country music, you’ve done something. But to have something like this, it’s crazy."
For a man who grew up dreaming of nothing else but being able to sing country songs, being the subject of an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame is the biggest accolade he has received to date.
"I can’t believe that I’m standing here," Shelton admits. "All I ever wanted to do is be a country star; all I ever cared about was being a country singer. I’ve been lucky enough along the way to do all those other things.
"The one thing that I started out doing, pretty much in 1994 when I moved to Nashville, was keep my eye on what I felt like -- and I still do -- was the prize," he notes. "I wanted to be a country singer. And no matter how much they throw at you, no matter what they say, what they do, that’s all I ever cared about. I just kept my head down and kept trying to do this thing, and I still feel like I’m trying. I do … This is the craziest thing that has ever happened to me."
Shelton also used the opportunity to poke a little fun at Country Music Hall of Fame member Garth Brooks.
"I do want to go through the music room, because there’s a lot of s--t I can’t get on iTunes, that I bet you all have up there," he quipped. "Y’all got Garth up there? Cause I can’t find him on iTunes. Unbelievable. It’s 2016, for God’s sake."
More information on Shelton's exhibit, Blake Shelton: Based on a True Story, can be found on the Country Music Hall of Fame website.
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