Fans Call Blake Shelton an "Embarrassment to Country Music" After Controversial Performance

CBS' New Year's Eve special viewers weren't pleased to find out he wasn't playing live.

Blake Shelton's latest televised performance had some fans first confused, then upset. On Dec. 31, CBS aired the special New Year's Eve Live: Nashville's Big Bash for the third year in a row. The concert is broadcast live from Nashville, Tennessee, counts down to the new year, and features performances from country music stars. This year, Shelton performed alongside Trace Adkins, but viewers soon realized that while the show hosted by Elle King and Rachel Smith was live, Shelton and Adkins' performance was not.

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As reported by TMZ, Shelton and Adkins' performance of "Hillbilly Bone" and "Hell Right" aired on TV just before Shelton went on stage live at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Viewers who thought that the former Voice coach would be performing live on Nashville's Big Bash took to X (formerly Twitter) to slam the star.

A preview for the special was posted to Shelton's account with a caption reading, "Don't miss Blake TONIGHT on New Year's Eve LIVE: Nashville's Big Bash on @CBS!#CBSNashvilleNYE -Team BS." In response, one fan wrote, "Is Blake in Nashville or Winstar Casino tonight for a concert?" Another wrote, "I thought Blake was doing a show at Winstar Casino in OK tonight??"

Someone else questioned the network, posting on X, "So, @CBS just saw promo about New Year's Eve celebration in Nashville live. List of celebs including Blake Shelton but he is performing in Oklahoma tonight. So will you be going live to his concert or are some segments pre recorded ? #NewYear2024." Another user joked, "How's Blake Shelton 'live' in Nashville for #CBSNashvilleNYE when he's about to go on stage at @WinStarWorld in 5min? He must have one fast [expletive] tour bus!" On Jan. 1, one fan wrote to Shelton, "Is it true Blake that you deceived us into thinking you were at the Nashville bash last night?"

Others dissed the performance itself. "WTF is this? Thomas Rhett and Blake Shelton sound like absolute [expletive]. This is an embarrassment to country music," wrote an X user. Another added, "Because they are [expletive]. This pop country crap sucks. This idiot talking and the horrible music is a complete embarrassment to country music."

A fan of Shelton's pointed out that they and other fans knew that his segment for the New Year's Eve special had been prerecorded well before it aired. "Blake recorded his set with Trace in early Nov I think," they posted. "We in the fandom laughed every time we saw adds [sic] saying he would be 'Live' in Nashville. We all knew he had the concert at the casino in OK scheduled."

Shelton himself had posted on X that he would be performing at WinStar in Oklahoma on New Year's Eve as far back as September. "See y'all @WinStarWorld on New Year's Eve!!! #WinStarNYE24," he wrote alongside a promotional video from the venue.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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