When it comes to touring, Blake Shelton is taking a page from George Strait’s book.
During a recent Q&A session at the groundbreaking Ole Red Las Vegas, the country superstar spoke about his upcoming tour and hinted that his future tour plans may look a bit different.
After announcing his departure from The Voice, Shelton planned to embrace his newfound freedom, however, he quickly realized that his other projects, like Barmageddon and the ongoing expansion of Ole Red, are occupying quite a bit of his time.
“I thought I was getting away from The Voice so that I would have more free time, but you’re making me feel like maybe not,” he told the Q&A moderator.
Following his Back To The Honky Tonk Tour, which is set to launch on February 16, Shelton said he may soon be modeling his touring plans after those of his musical hero, George Strait.
“George Strait is my hero on lots of different levels, one of which is how little he tours. And it’s like, I want to do everything like George Strait,” he said.
Strait officially announced his retirement from touring in 2012 and later embarked on his final major tour, The Cowboy Rides Away Tour. Since then, the country music icon has been performing a select number of shows in Las Vegas as well as a handful of yearly stadium concerts. In 2023, Strait will play less than 10 shows.
“I would say that I’m working at just the right pace for me,” Strait previously told Pollstar. “I think I’ll do eight shows [in 2023]. That’s about perfect. I’ll have plenty of time off and still be able to scratch that itch that I have for live shows.”
Would Shelton Consider A Las Vegas Residency?
While Shelton may’ve hinted at scaling back his touring schedule, fans may soon have additional opportunities to see him live as he recently teased that he’s toying with the idea of a Las Vegas Residency.
During an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Shelton said that he is contemplating the idea of a Sin City residency after being “blown away” by his wife Gwen Stefani’s “Just a Girl” show at Zappos Theater.
“I probably saw [Gwen’s Las Vegas residency] 12 or 13 times, up in the loft, and I was blown away every time,” Shelton said.
Shelton was then asked if he will use his existing partnership with Caesars Entertainment as a “stepping stone” to launch his own residency or a collaborative one between him and his wife, Stefani.
“That’s probably a good way to put it, a stepping stone,” he shared. “I mean, it’s not until now that I’ve ever even thought, ‘Maybe I can do a Vegas residency.’ I don’t want to mislead you and say that something’s on the table, but it’s on the radar.”
After witnessing several Las Vegas residencies, including Stefani’s residency over a dozen times, Shelton may’ve found inspiration for his own.
“A lot of my friends are doing these things, and knowing the inside and outside of Gwen’s show, I’m thinking, if there’s a way that I could do it, I would have a blast. So I’m definitely starting to think about it now. I’ve had a lot of thoughts over my career that never became anything, but this makes all the sense in the world,” he explained.
In December of 2022, Shelton revealed to PEOPLE that his will be scaling back on his professional commitments to focus more on his family, which includes his wife, Stefani, and her three sons, Kingston, 16, Zuma, 14, and Apollo, 8.
“If I walked away from my career at this time, the only thing that I run the risk of is having regrets that I’m missing out on some more important things in life. This isn’t about me anymore and never will be again,” Shelton told the outlet.
Since becoming a stepfather to Stefani’s children, Shelton says his perspective on what matters most in his life has changed.
“Just having kids, you know…. It truly does make you go, ‘Wait a minute. This isn’t about me anymore. It never will be again.’ If you don’t say that to yourself, I think you’re only hurting yourself because you’re going to miss out,” Shelton explained, adding that all three boys will notice when he is absent from life events. “They’ve taught me something about myself that I never knew: I’m more than just a country singer or a goofy guy. I’m someone they actually lean on, and that’s not a responsibility that I ever had and not something I ever considered even being into.”
While he’s unsure if their schedules will allow it, Shelton hopes that his wife and stepsons will be able to join him on the road at some point.
“It’s always hard touring, and school schedules never line up,” he told Access Hollywood.
Back To The Honky Tonk Tour
The “No Body” singer’s much-anticipated tour will feature support from Carly Pearce and Jackson Dean.
“There’s nothing like getting out on the road and taking music to the fans,” Shelton previously shared. “I feel just as excited to step on stage and perform as I did the very first time. I know my tour mates Carly Pearce and Jackson Dean feel the same, and I can’t wait for y’all to get to know them better. Break out the hats and boots, ‘cause we’re going back to the honky tonk!”
In the midst of the Back To The Honky Tonk Tour, Shelton will return to NBC’s The Voice for his final season as a coach. On the upcoming season, Shelton will be joined by fellow coaches Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan and Chance The Rapper.
The upcoming season of The Voice is set to premiere on March 6.
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