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Blake Shelton

Few country artists have ever known the kind of success Blake Shelton has earned. Fewer still have done it with the openness and honesty he brings to the table.

"For the life of me," says Blake Shelton, "I'll never understand how you can be an artist but not want people to understand who you are as a person."

More than a decade into a career whose opening salvo was the chart-topping "Austin," that transparency has helped Blake become one of the best ambassadors the country music genre has ever had, in a league with Glen Campbell and Roger Miller. His wit, intelligence and, above all, his irreverent sense of fun have endeared him to his peers on NBC's megahit "The Voice" just as surely as it has to the millions of fans he is introducing to country music. He is, says wife Miranda Lambert, "the life of every party he goes to," and these days, the world is his party.

Careers have been known to flounder when artists reach beyond their core strengths into uncharted territory, but Blake's has only strengthened, primarily because he has never lost focus on the basis of everything he does--the music.

"I've spent a lifetime in love with country music," he says. "I listened all the time as a kid and I was playing and singing before I was a teenager. I moved to Nashville at 17 to make music and since then I've put everything I have into doing it right."

He is, this far along, looking to the future.

"I just want to do what George Strait has done and what Reba has done, to make great music year after year," he says. "I don't think there's a magic formula. I think you just go and make the best record you can make and give the best you have when you walk out on that stage."

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