Blake Shelton Shares the Hilarious Advice Billy Ray Cyrus Gave Him at His First CMA Awards [Watch]
Blake Shelton is a country music star and a household name thanks to his time serving as a coach on The Voice. 22 years ago, however, he was just a young man from Oklahoma trying to make it in the industry.
"The first CMAs that I was on was 2001," he shares during a visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live! "I remember I had a song out that had done pretty good, good enough that they asked me to come do one of those commercial bumper moments."
During the show, Shelton had a chance to introduce himself to a national television audience and play a snippet of one of his songs before the show cut to a commercial break. He admits that he felt terrified because he had never been on television before.
While waiting backstage for his big moment, he ran into Billy Ray Cyrus.
"So I was standing there off to the side," Shelton recounts. "And Billy Ray Cyrus had just presented an award and he walked over and he said — and he introduced himself to me — which, I was just in shock."
The "God's Country" singer says he confided in Cyrus at the time, telling him that he was terrified to go on stage.
"And he goes, 'Hey man, listen. Even if you do great, this is the music industry. Most of those people are going to make fun of you and roll their eyes, anyway. It's like, this is the music industry. You need to toughen up a little, man.'"
"Like, that was his pep talk to me," Shelton shares. "As a young 23-year-old kid or whatever it was, I was like, 'Oh my God, you're right!'"
The advice might not have come in the right package, but the intent behind it stuck. Shelton has since become one of the most successful artists in country music and has made a name for himself in television as a goofy, lovable character.
Although he has retired from The Voice after 23 seasons as a coach, his other television project is just getting started. Barmageddon returns for a second season on USA Network on Monday (Nov. 13).