Blake Shelton Wouldn’t Be On ‘The Voice’ If This A-Lister Hadn’t Turned Down The Reality Show

Blake Shelton is almost as famous for his role on The Voice as he is for his music. Sure, he’s a popular country singer. But he’s been on The Voice for so long it’s hard to imagine the show without him. The popular singing competition is going into its 17th season, and he’s been with it from the beginning.

He’s such a loud and raucous member of the cast that he’s hard to forget. He’s constantly starting feuds with other coaches and showing off his huge personality. Shelton is such a big part of the show that fans were surprised to learn he almost didn’t get the part.

Reba McEntire was the first choice

In a recent interview, Shelton revealed that country great Reba McEntire was the first one to get the call for the show. The producers wanted a country singer on the roster, and McEntire is undoubtedly one of the biggest country names around. Plus, McEntire has a lot of on-screen experience. She’s had her own scripted television shows before.

McEntire considered the role but ultimately declined. Her manager offered Shelton as a replacement.

Although he didn’t have the same name recognition as McEntire at the time, the producers decided to give him a try. According to Shelton: “They knew just enough about me that they just rolled the dice and said ‘Okay, we’ll try him.'”

The show probably wouldn’t have booked two famous country coaches. They try to have a variety of genres represented on the coaching panel.

If McEntire had agreed, there’s no doubt the producers wouldn’t have cast Shelton. Without him, who knows if the show would have gained the popularity that it did?

Blake Shelton has made friends along the way

Not only did Shelton make the show, but in a way, The Voice has given a lot to Shelton. Sure, it’s increased his star power exponentially. But more importantly, it brought him together with Adam Levine.

The two were always at each other’s throats on screen, but their beef was (and is) mostly for the viewers. Although Shelton and Levine rip on each other in real life, they’re actually good friends.

Even though Shelton has said on multiple occasions that he literally hates Levine, he revealed his true feelings when Levine was awarded a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. His speech was sincere, and he admitted that his life wouldn’t be the same without Levine. “I’ve never had a more honest and loyal friend than Adam Levine through my personal journey.”

So The Voice has given Shelton something truly priceless: a genuine friendship.

Blake Shelton makes a lot of money as a coach

Blake Shelton
Blake Shelton | Michael Muller/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Friendship may be priceless, but coaching on the show is not. It comes at a steep cost where Shelton is concerned: He’s paid more than $13 million per season on the show, making him the highest-paid coach on the program.

He was making around $13 million per season, the same salary as Levine. Then, before season 12, he and girlfriend Gwen Stefani negotiated a significant bonus on top of their salaries.

The catch? They had to compete on screen, instead of working together.

If it seems crazy that McEntire would give up that kind of money, consider the fact that according to Good Housekeeping, she has a net worth of over $95 million. Although $13 million is nothing to sneeze at, even for her, the show would still take up time that she could spend on other projects.

She doesn’t really need the money, and it could keep her from doing things she really wants to do. After all, no amount of money can buy more hours in the day. Whatever the reason McEntire decided to bow out of The Voice, die-hard Shelton fans are lucky she did.