Blake Shelton called out critics for wanting “to pick a fight” after complaints surfaced over his new song, called “Minimum Wage.”
The song, which officially debuts Friday, made headlines after the country crooner sang it at NBC’s “New Year’s Eve Special.”
It includes lyrics like “You could make a six pack on the carpet / Taste like a million dollar bill / You could make a one-bedroom apartment feel like a house up on the hill” and “Girl lookin’ at you, looking at me that way / Could make a man feel rich on minimum wage.”
Shelton spoke about the new single in an interview with CMT on Thursday, and said that anyone who took issue with the tune “clearly hadn’t heard the song or read the lyrics.”
“If they had, they couldn’t feel this way about the song. It’s literally a love song about how if times are tight and you ain’t got much money — as long as you have love and you’re happy — at the end of the day, that’s all any of us can really hope for,” the “Voice” coach said. “You got it if you got that. That’s all that matters. And if that’s offensive to you, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.”
“I just feel like these days, there are people out there who don’t want to know the truth,” he added.
“They just want to hear what they want to hear, and they want to pick a fight,” the singer continued. “No matter what your intention is, no matter what the truth is, they want it to be something that they can be upset about so that they can get on social media and try to grab a headline.”
Shelton said that he initially ignored the criticism because he found the situation to be “absolutely ridiculous.”
“We’re at a point now where it doesn’t even deserve a response. That’s why I didn’t come out initially and say anything, because they’re not entitled to a response from me,” he said.
“I have to say, if we have to start thinking like this, then I guess that’ll be where I have to bow out,” Shelton added. “Because that’s one of the longest-standing traditions in country music is lyrics about love. And if you’ve got love, then that’s all that matters. There won’t be much left to play or write about on country radio if this is something that we have to think twice about.”
Shelton made similar comments in an interview with Billboard in 2016, telling the magazine, “In country music, we’re so politically correct and so afraid to possibly upset someone.”
He followed up his comments by saying that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump “says what he thinks, and he has proven that you don’t always have to be so afraid.” The country singer later clarified in a series of tweets that he wasn’t endorsing Trump for president.
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