Blake Shelton Worked Minimum Wage Jobs and Recorded $40 Demos Before Signing a Record Deal

Blake Shelton is one of country music’s biggest stars. And his marriage to Gwen Stefani and time on The Voice has only cemented his superstardom.

But things were not always so.

Blake Shelton performing on stage
Blake Shelton | Todd Williamson/Getty Images

The country crooner started out like so many of us by working minimum wage jobs. Then he set his heart to land a music career, which led to a massive following and much bigger financial windfall.

Blake Shelton’s song ‘Minimum Wage’ is true to life

If you ask Shelton why he works so hard, he’ll probably just start singing his song Minimum Wage. Although it was co-written with other artists, Shelton said that song spoke to him, according to CMT.

The superstar said those times made him appreciate the songs and places he played because he loved music so much.

“I knew what I wanted and I just didn’t even care. I wanted to sing. And whatever I had to do to get by to be a singer, I didn’t care. And luckily, the record finally came out and did what it did and I never really had to look back since then, which is fortunate.”

Shelton moved to Nashville in 1994 and signed his record deal in 1998. For four years, he and his bass player, Rob Byus, who still plays with him on tour and is an adjunct professor at Lipscomb University, would go back and forth from Nashville to Oklahoma playing gigs where they could.

The country crooner said he worked minimum wage jobs and cut $40 demos so he could sing and write songs for free because he loved music so much.

When his recording contract happened, he had to give up the demos, which was hard on his finances. Shelton also said he had the advantage in that he was young and only had to look after himself. His passion for the art form paid off.

Not everyone loved Blake Shelton’s song ‘Minimum Wage’

CMT noted when Minimum Wage came out, not everyone was impressed. Some fans believed Shelton couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like to work minimum wage now that he’s worth millions. Fellow superstar Ronnie Dunn, of Brooks & Dunn, understood Shelton’s song perfectly.

He said many country singers, and performers in general, start off with crappy jobs just for a chance at the big time. Not everyone hits it. But those that do almost always work hard and make sacrifices to get there. In response to the criticism, Shelton kept his cool and said people just want to “pick a fight.”

Shelton went on to say that Minimum Wage is a love song, saying that if you have true love, the money just doesn’t matter because love is more important, whether you love someone else, love music, or love your family.

“Whatever this backlash is is just four or five people that probably don’t know anything about country music.”

How much is Blake Shelton’s net worth now?

Shelton is worth around $60 million right now. His superstar wife is worth even more at $100 million. The musical power couple is hitting all the right notes with their professional and personal lives, and fans adore them.

What’s next for the match made in harmony?

Shelton is currently on season 22 of The Voice, but he’s hinted that his retirement is coming, although he doesn’t know when. It’s not a bad thing. He just recognizes that he needs to make room for the up-and-coming country stars. Spoken like a true coach on a reality TV show.

RELATED: ‘The Voice’: Gwen Stefani Admitted She Had No Idea Who Blake Shelton Was and Didn’t Understand Why People Liked Him