Two weeks after surprising fans with his new song, “Minimum Wage,” during NBC’s New Year’s Eve broadcast, Blake Shelton has finally released the song to streaming platforms.
Co-written by Nicolle Galyon, Corey Crowder and Jesse Frasure, “Minimum Wage” finds the country superstar reveling in his solid relationship and acknowledging that one does not need material items to be happy.
“I heard ‘Minimum Wage’ over a year ago and connected with it immediately,” Shelton says. “It’s the timeless truth that you don’t need a lot of money or possessions, you just need love.”
“You can make a six pack on the carpet/ Taste like a million-dollar bill/ You can make a one-bedroom apartment/ Feel like a house up on a hill/ You can make my truck out in the driveway/ Roll like a cleaned-up Cadillac/ Girl, lookin’ at you lookin’ at me that way/ Can make a man feel rich on minimum wage,” he sings on the chorus.
While Shelton is far from living on $7.25 an hour these days, he isn’t a stranger to it and that’s why he felt a connection to the song.
“I relate so much to the lyrics of this song. I have a lot of great memories playing dive bars in Nashville and then driving back to Oklahoma to play a gig,” Shelton goes on to say. “I gravitate toward songs that feel like the stories of where I’ve been and where I am currently in my life, and I’ve got a lot of happiness in joy in my life these days.”
The sentiment follows the footsteps of classic country love songs such as Charley Pride’s “All I Have To Offer You Is Me” and John Anderson’s “Money In The Bank,” to Alan Jackson’s “Livin On Love” and Chris Stapleton’s “Millionaire.” While there many country love songs that convey a similar message, Shelton came under fire following the debut of the song, with some social media users calling him “tone deaf” for releasing the track during a time when so many Americans are out of work or living paycheck to paycheck.
Shelton addressed the social media controversy in a recent interview with CMT.
“It’s literally a love song about how if times are tight and you ain’t got much money — as long as you have love and you’re happy — at the end of the day, that’s all any of us can really hope for,” he said. “You got it if you got that. That’s all that matters. And if that’s offensive to you, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.”
The superstar and longtime The Voice coach confirmed that “Minimum Wage” is the lead single from his forthcoming new album while chatting with Bobby Bones on The Bobby Bones Show on Friday (Jan. 15).
The song follows back-to-back No.1s “Nobody But You” and “Happy Anywhere,” which are both duets with his fiancée Gwen Stefani.