We can’t believe it’s been this long since we first met Blake Shelton and his glorious mullet Getty Images/Vince Bucci
Getty Images/Vince Bucci

Blake Shelton released his debut album on July 31, 2001, and it’s safe to say the world has never been the same since.

The self-titled album kicked Blake’s career off with a bang with the lead single, “Austin,” holding the No. 1 spot on the country chart for a staggering five weeks. Another one of Blake’s signature songs, “Ol’ Red,” was included on that first album. You won’t find Blake performing a concert without that song on the set list to this day.

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One thing you may not know about “Ol’ Red” is that Kenny Rogers and George Jones both recorded the song in the 1990s before Blake got his hands on it and made it a hit.

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You can check out their versions of the songs here.

Making the album was a dream come true for Blake on many levels. For one thing, it was produced by Country Music Hall of Fame member Bobby Braddock, who wrote George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and Tammy Wynette’s “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” among many other hits. The album also gave Blake the chance to co-write the song “All Over Me” with another one of his heroes, Earl Thomas Conley.

Blake’s debut album went on to sell 500,000 copies and earn a gold album certification. Though that mullet he was rocking on the cover is gone, Blake still stays true to the country sound he first delivered 15 years ago.

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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