Signs that Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani are really in love: their hit duets, “Happy Anywhere,” and “Nobody But You;” the 13 million dollar, 13,000-square-foot California mansion that Variety reports they co-bought; Gwen Stefani’s six to eight-carat diamond engagement rock (as per E!‘s expert analysis); and Blake Shelton’s new single, “Minimum Wage.”
You might have seen the music video NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly. “Minimum Wage,” a video directed by Gwen Stefani’s brother, Todd, debuted on the show after Shelton tells Daly that, “I got engaged to Gwen Stefani. I don’t care what else happened besides that. That made it a great year for me” (via Country Now). But If you’ve desperately searched Youtube for “Minimum Wage” and can’t find it, that’s no accident. Blake Shelton hasn’t officially released it yet. Country Now reports that it doesn’t know if or when “Minimum Wage” will debut on country radio. And the fact that the new track is absent from radio and streaming platforms may have something to do with it’s lyrics. “Minimum Wage” has sparked so much Twitter controversy that even Insider has reached out to Shelton’s music label, Warner Music Nashville, for comment.
Why Blake Shelton's new love lyrics failed
Shelton’s fans don’t take issue with the entire song, nor do they care that the country superstar has released yet-another Gwen-Stefani-is-everything-to-me track. It’s when Shelton croons, “Girl, your love can make a man feel rich on minimum wage,” in the chorus that listeners’ blood starts to boil. Because to quote one disconcerted Twitter user: “Not sure if Blake realizes that minimum wage is $7.25 people can’t pay rent on that let alone take care of a family. Let him try and see if it still makes him feel like a millionaire.” Another lamented, ” There’s a time for songs like ‘Minimum Wage’ but it isn’t now. It’s not relatable. People are out of work due to the pandemic. They’re fighting for their livelihoods as businesses are forced to close.” A third snarked, “@blakeshelton when was the last time you had to survive on minimum wage and you were like ‘nah, this girl likes me. I’m all good.'”
While some Twitter fans have come rushing to Shelton’s defense, arguing that “Country music is typically written from the point of view of the common man. So give @blakeshelton a break,” it’s not hard to understand where the outrage is coming from. As of September 2020, Pew Research Center announced that one in four Americans were having trouble paying bills since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. And, as of December 2020, the BBC reported on a worldwide spike in COVID-19 related break-ups and divorces.
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