Blake Shelton recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of his iconic debut single, “Austin,” and to celebrate, the superstar shared a goosebumps-inducing acoustic performance of the song.
Seated on a stool playing acoustic guitar, accompanied by two additional guitar players, Shelton passionately sang the lyrics while lights danced around him.
While the Oklahoma native has performed the country ballad countless times throughout his career this performance stands out as one of his best.
Co-written by David Kent and Kirsti Manna, “Austin” was released on April 16, 2001 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.”
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 an eight-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.