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Blake Shelton sings the praises of love on a budget as he sends “Minimum Wage” to radio

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Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton’s upbeat anthem to the kind of love that makes you feel like a million bucks — no matter your circumstances — is officially headed to country radio.

“I heard ‘Minimum Wage’ over a year ago and connected with it immediately,” Blake says of the song’s origins. “It’s the timeless truth that you don’t need a lot of money or possessions, you just need love.”

He debuted the song early this year, but quickly received some blowback from listeners who perceived the song’s message as tone deaf, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when many are struggling financially.

Still, Blake has defended his song. “At first I thought, ‘Wow, I guess I’ve just missed something here.’ And the more I read into this, the more I realized this was really not real. Whatever this backlash is is just four or five people that probably don’t know anything about country music,” he told CMT this week.

“They clearly hadn’t heard the song or read the lyrics,” Blake added. “If they had, they couldn’t feel this way about the song.”

Though he’s making quite a bit more than “Minimum Wage” at this point, Blake says the song makes him think back to his early days.

“I have a lot of great memories playing dive bars in Nashville and then driving back to Oklahoma to play a gig,” he recalls. “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 and joy in my life these days.”

When he debuted the song, Blake introduced it as a message of love to his fiancée, Gwen Stefani.

By Carena Liptak
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