Blake Shelton To Commemorate 20th Anniversary of ‘Austin’ with Special New Release

Blake Shelton is paying tribute to his humble beginnings with a special project to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

March 17, 2021


8:28 am

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Blake Shelton; Photo by Jim Wright

Blake Shelton is paying tribute to his humble beginnings with a special project to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his debut single, “Austin.”

The Oklahoma native will soon release a special, limited edition of “Austin” on vinyl. The pre-order will launch on April 16, the exact date of the song’s release two decades ago. Remaining true to the original release, the vinyl will also feature a B-side with the tracks, “Problems At Home.” 

Co-written by David Kent and Kirsti Manna, “Austin” was released as Shelton’s first single from his debut, self-titled album. The track, which remains a fan-favorite to this day, spent five weeks atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart and even made its way to No.18 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. The song was the superstar’s highest-peaking single until “Honey Bee” in 2011. 

“I remember the first time I heard ‘Austin’ on the radio,” Shelton said. “I was driving on 440, and I kept looking to both sides trying to see if other drivers were singing along! At that time, the station had a slogan about how they played new artists and legends, and the DJ said something like, ‘Who knows… maybe this artist will become one of the legends.’ This song started it all for me. I couldn’t be prouder to celebrate its 20th anniversary.”

Since releasing “Austin,” Shelton has gone to become one of country music’s biggest stars. With more than five billion on-demand streams, 28 chart-topping singles and award wins nearing the hundreds, Shelton has earned his place among the country music greats. 

Shelton is also a seven-time champion with 20 seasons on NBC’s The Voice and a longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry. He recently expanded his repertoire with his Ole Red partnership with Ryman Hospitality, with restaurant and venue locations currently in Tishomingo, Nashville, Gatlinburg and Orlando.

Shelton’s current single, “Minimum Wage,” is at country radio now. 

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.