During Thursday night’s inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards, Blake Shelton was crowned the social country star of 2023 — a win that puzzled the country legend, to say the least.
“I moved to Nashville in 1994 and man, I had a lot of dreams — this was not one of them,” Shelton said as he received his award at the Thursday night ceremony. “I don’t even know what this means, but if the fans want me to have it, I’m damn well going to put it on my mantle.”
Shelton continued by thanking his country music fans, and relishing in the glory of his new title, jokingly saying “that’s right, social media.”
The awards ceremony, which aired live from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House on NBC, also recognized the country star with several other nominations for the night’s awards, including the people’s artist of 2023, male artist of 2023 as well as concert tour of 2023 for his “Back to the Honky Tonk” tour.
Hosted by Little Big Town, Shelton was part of the performer lineup that also included fellow performers Carly Pearce, Dan + Shay, HARDY, Jelly Roll, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town, Toby Keith and Wynonna Judd.
Shelton also served as a presenter at the awards ceremony. Other presenters included Adam Doleac, Brothers Osborne, Carly Pearce, Chris Young, Dustin Lynch, Gabby Barrett, Hunter Hayes, Jessie James Decker, Josh Ross, Kameron Marlowe, Kristin Cavallari, Lady A, Lauren Alaina, Leanne Morgan, Mickey Guyton, Nikki Garcia, Scotty McCreery, and The War and Treaty.
Shelton also recently departed “The Voice” after 23 seasons on the NBC competition show, where he became winningest coach. For the show’s 24th installment, fellow country star Reba McEntire took Shelton’s red chair after serving as a battle advisor for Shelton’s team in the show’s very first season and serving as a mega mentor during Season 23.