Blake Shelton isn’t shy about his drinking habits. (“I’m so drunk right now I just walked into a 7-11 put a bag of Skittles in my pants and shouted ‘Who wants to taste the rainbow?!!'” he once tweeted.) Nor the repercussions. (“I’m so hungover right now I just spent 15 minutes trying to DVR Growing Pains on my microwave,” reads another tweet.) So being that today (June 18th) is the country superstar’s 39th birthday, expect more side-splitting social media posts and a killer headache tomorrow. In honor of The Voice coach’s big, intoxicated day, we count down his best drinking songs.
It's entirely understandable if listeners were so focused on the strangely hypnotic "chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit" refrain that they completely missed the "ice cold beer" reference in the chorus of Shelton's largely spoken-word smash that somehow managed to get in every "red red redneck" stereotype — from girls to trucks to honky tonks — yet still sounded like nothing else on the radio when it topped the charts in 2013.
Shelton veers mightily into Bocephus territory with this 2011 track, even namechecking Hank Williams Jr.’s classic 1981 hit, “Country Boys Can Survive.” In the defiant paean to all things Murican, Shelton’s got a “cold one in his lap” as he spouts red, white and blue platitudes from coast to coast. And if you’ve got a problem with that, you can just, well, you know. . .
Everyone's got ambition, right? Sometimes that drive begins and ends with seeing just how toasted you can get with minimal effort. In this album track from Shelton's current project, Bringing Back the Sunshine, he's "chillin' like a villain" as he gets his buzz on thanks to beer, Fireball, and a little bud (the kind you light, not drink). Former Voice Team Blake contestant RaeLynn has little to do here on this hand-clappin' anthem other than provide a few backing vocals, leaving most of the 12-ounce arm curling to Shelton.
Leave it to Shelton to liken romance to alcohol. With a little bit of sangria on her lips, the woman with whom he's enjoying some fruit-filled wine has him leaning in for a "wild, warm kiss" as they do a wrecking-ball dance down the hallway. While sangria gets its name from the Spanish word for "bloodletting," the song and its accompanying music video are really all about blood that's coursing its way through the body.
Co-written by Mary Gauthier, who recorded her own version in 2005, this boozy ballad kicks off with a description of an alcoholic father who spends every night in an angry, sauced haze. Eventually, the song's narrator follows in those footsteps, looking to dull the pain of a broken heart by turning to the same liver-pickling vice. "Fish swim, birds fly/Lovers leave by and by/Old men sit and think/I drink," goes the chorus, whose sad, sour taste can't be washed away by even the strongest of cocktails. It's the only Debbie Downer of this list, but certainly one of the more memorable.
In this oddly minimalist song from Shelton's 2011 Red River Blue album, he runs through all the things you "get," from paid to drunk to saved to real high because everyone's "dying to get some," whatever your "some" may be. There's a good natured, laid-back sway to the whole enterprise, reminiscent of one of Toby Keith's many booze-fueled, weekend-ready tunes. And the combination of Craig Wiseman's clever songwriting and Shelton's wry delivery makes for a great punchline or two: "You get high, real high," Shelton sings, followed by an awkward pause, a cough and then, "Forget your next line."
Why simply talk over what your plans are when you can “Drink on It”? That’s the idea behind this smooth, seductive concoction written by Jon Randall, Jessi Alexander and Rodney Clawson. The third of four singles from 2011’s Red River Blue LP, “Drink on It” went down easily with listeners, becoming the Oklahoma native’s 11th chart-topping single. In spite of his reputation for imbibing and the frequency with which he sings, writes – and tweets – about the subject, this was the first, and so far only, Number One song Shelton has had with the word “drink” in the title.
"The More I Drink" is technically a cautionary tale, with Shelton spinning the story of a beer-loving barfly who, after one too many benders, learns to stick with Coke instead of Corona. The music video takes a different approach, though, unfolding like an Alcoholic Anonymous participant's worst nightmare. In the clip, Shelton convinces the song's teetotaler to throw caution to wind and take a few shots, kickstarting a wild, wet night that ultimately lands the two in jail. The moral? Never make Shelton your sponsor.
If your Southern accent is deep enough — and perhaps you’ve had enough to drink — “son of a bitch” might sound a little more like “some beach.” It’s the former phrase that makes one wish to be transported to the latter, where “cold margaritas and hot Senoritas” are waiting in the sand. The “some beaches” in this 2004 chart-topper include a foreign car-driving dude with road rage, a parking spot stealer and a drill-happy dentist, all of whom represent the daily frustrations of landlocked life. Sure, the focus here isn’t on the booze, but no other song in Shelton’s live show prompts more beer bottles to be lifted high.
The name says it all. Unfazed by the hangover that awaits him in the morning, Shelton hits up two different bars during this amped-up tribute to living in the moment — so long as that moment occurs within stumbling distance of a beer tap. Aimed at country radio fans who, like the country star, enjoy “rockin’ all kinds of concoctions,” this song topped the charts during the summer of 2010, succeeded by — coincidentally enough — Billy Currington’s “Pretty Good at Drinking Beer.”