Blake Shelton ‘Shocked’ By Posthumous Gift From Earl Thomas Conley
Blake Shelton called Earl Thomas Conley a hero and friend, and he recently found out the late '80s hitmaker was just as fond of him. Conley — who died in April of 2019 at the age of 77 — left something behind for the younger singer.
Taking to Twitter, Shelton shared a photo of a gold album personalized for him. It's a memento that certifies Conley's Greatest Hits album from 1985, which went gold in 1989. The album was Conley's only RIAA-certified project, meaning these plaques are rare -- but he wanted the "Minimum Wage" singer to have one, which meant making it happen nearly 30 years later.
"Proud to be your friend," the plaque reads. Shelton said he was "shocked, happy and honored" to receive it.
"Just the thought that he was thinking of me is overwhelming," he writes.
The circuitous route the gold record took to get to Shelton is not clear. He indicates that Mike Pyle, a songwriter who wrote the Top 20 hit "All About Me" with Conley and Shelton, had it for some time before shipping it to Oklahoma for the contemporary hitmaker.
Conley's final days were compromised: He'd been in hospice and was suffering from a condition similar to dementia. It's not clear when he chose to have this honor made, or if he lived to see it ... but that he was thinking of Shelton was good enough.
Upon hearing of his death, Shelton turned to Twitter to tribute the "Holding Her and Loving You" hitmaker. "My heart is absolutely destroyed today," he said nearly two years ago. "Earl was my all time favorite singer, hero and my friend ... We will all miss you deeply my brother."
News of Shelton's gift came during a busy week for the star: He revealed that "Minimum Wage" will be his new radio single and did several interviews to support the song and an upcoming album, though the 44-year-old did not reveal a timetable for the full-length project. Later this winter, he'll begin his 20th season as a coach on NBC's The Voice.
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