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Feb 22

How Blake Shelton's late brother Richie inspired his musical journey

David LaChapelle/NBCAs the platinum-selling, award-winning star of The Voice, Blake Shelton is in a prominent spot to influence scores of up-and-coming musicians. But when the Oklahoma hitmaker was growing up, he recalls he found his greatest mentor at home.

“My biggest musical influence I guess was probably my brother growing up,” Blake reminisces about his older brother, Richie. “He wasn’t a singer or a musician or anything. He was just a guy that just loved music and from the time I can remember, he was in his bedroom listening to whatever record he was into at the time, as loud as he possibly could.”

“It was shaking the house,” he recalls. “My dad would come beat on his door, and you know, ‘Turn that down!’”

When Blake was just 14, however, Richie was killed in a car accident. Still, close to thirty years later, his impact remains.

“That was probably the guy that introduced me to… the most important music of my life,” Blake reflects, “because he was listening to a lot of country, a lot of Southern rock… I guess that’s probably what planted the seed early on for me.”

Blake takes another chance to pay it forward as he kicks off season 12 of The Voice Monday on NBC, alongside his girlfriend, Gwen Stefani.

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