In 2001, country artist Blake Shelton released his debut song, “Austin.” It was a part of his self-titled debut album.
Now, 20 years later, Shelton remains one of the most popular figures in country music. He has had his coveted spot on “The Voice” as a judge since 2011. Since 2020, Shelton has 28 No. 1 singles.
He has a total of 10 CMA Awards, six Academy Awards, and nine CMT Music Awards. Shelton has sold over 10 million records. He has come a long way since his self-titled album 20 years ago.
Blake Shelton Celebrates ‘Austin’
In a recent tweet, Shelton announced to his fans that he is releasing a limited-edition vinyl to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the song.
“Excited to celebrate 20 years of #Austin with a commemorative 20th Anniversary 7” vinyl! Pre-order yours starting April 16th! -Team BS”
He’ll be selling a 7-inch vinyl, complete with the original photo featuring Shelton’s long-haired, cowboy-hat-wearing days. It will be available in his store starting April 16th.
At the time of releasing “Austin,” Blake Shelton was signed to Giant Records. He originally wanted to release “I Wanna Talk About Me” as his first single, but Toby Keith ended up recording and sending the song to No. 1 status.
Giant Records released the song, then closed shortly after. Shelton switched to Warner Bros. Records. Suddenly the song had become a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
“Austin” tied Billy Ray Cyrus’ record for staying on the country charts for five weeks. He is the first debut male country artist to be No. 1 on both the Top Country Singles Sales chart and the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
Story Behind ‘Austin’
Blake Shelton did not write the song “Austin,” but he did turn it into a No.1 hit.
According to The Country Daily, Kirsti Manna heard a story about a songwriter in Nashville. He had broken up with his girlfriend and she moved to Austin. He ends up putting a message on his answering machine that said, “By the way, if this is Austin, I still love you.”
Manna and David Kent then co-wrote the song and gave it to Blake Shelton. While a sad story about heartbreak, the writers gave the song a happy ending.
“He kept missing her, and she kept missing him. How’s it gonna end? The thing that finally worked was the twist ending, where he calls back and thinks for a minute he’s got her answering machine – but he’s really got her! So that put a bit of a smile at the end of it,” Kent said.
The song continues to resonate with people who feel lost and confused in a relationship. From breaking up to getting back together, “Austin” tells a very real and relatable story that is so common for country music.