On This Day: Blake Shelton Drops His Debut Album Featuring ‘Austin’ in 2001

by Keeli Parkey

Today (July 31, 2021) is a very, very significant day in the career of country music star Blake Shelton. It was 20 years ago today that he released his very first album. With songs such as “Austin,” the album was a huge success and it propelled the Oklahoma native to stardom.

“Austin” was the first single off of that album, which was titled, “Blake Shelton.” It was released on the Giant Nashville label.

The singer came out of the gates with a bang. “Austin” made it all the way to the top of the charts. However, just as his career was just starting to gain momentum the Giant Nashville label came to an end. Unsurprisingly, he was very concerned about how this would impact his career. He talked about this time in his career with CMT in 2010.

“I signed with Giant Records in 1998. It wasn’t until 2001 that they released ‘Austin,”’and two weeks later, they closed, and I ended up as Warner Bros.’ stepchild,” Blake Shelton shared. “I had been hearing rumors. From the day I signed with that record company, I was excited and had a sick feeling at the same time. You know how Nashville is. The rumors were always flying around: ‘Giant’s gonna close.’ They were true rumors, just way ahead of their time. Luckily, I was able to finish my album before the company closed.”

Lucky indeed.

Blake Shelton Released Other Hit Songs Off of His Debut Album

After his move to Warner Bros., Blake Shelton continued delivering hits. These included such tracks as “Ol’ Red” and “All Over Me.” Both of those songs appear on his debut album. And each made it to the Top 20 in the charts.

With his star on the rise, Shelton still had goals he wanted to achieve in his career. He talked about these during a 2001 interview.

“It’s real important for me to have a Top 10 record at some point in my career,” Blake Shelton said. “And that’s about as long-term as it gets for me right now. I’m really, really concentrating on this single and this current album. That’s about as far as I can see right now.”

As country music fans are aware, Blake Shelton’s career didn’t stop after the success of his self-titled debut album. He kept his career momentum going with his next album, “The Dreamer.” It included another chart-topping hit song, “The Baby.”

Shelton’s third album, “Blake Shelton’s Barn & Grill,” gave him another No. 1 hit. This popular track was the song, “Some Beach.”

Flash forward to 2021. During the two decades since Blake Shelton was released, he has delivered 28 chart-topping songs. Of that number, he had 17 songs in a row make it to No. 1.