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Blake Shelton to play Patriot Center Saturday night

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Blake Shelton, the beloved country judge on The Voice, will be playing the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. Saturday night. Ever since the premiere of the reality competition show, which most recently drew in over 16 million viewers, his career has skyrocketed making him more mainstream. But little did the average American know that he has been a country star since 2001.

Blake Shelton

Starting with his first single “Austin” off his self-titled album, he has charted 17 singles, with 10 of them at the No.1 spot. He was nominated for three Grammys this year alone, including Best Country Album.

The first single, “Honeybee,” off his latest record, Red River Blue, received 138,000 downloads in its first week and was Gold certified in under two months setting a new record for the fastest Gold certification by a male country singer. Red River Blue has since gone Gold in November of 2011. This year, he also updated the famous country-rock hit, “Footloose” which was featured on the soundtrack of the Fall remake of Footloose.

Just ten years ago, if you wanted to hear country music, you had to turn on a country-specific radio station or buy a CD. Now, with more crossover artists such as Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum, and shows such as The Voice, country is becoming more mainstream and artists such as Shelton are finally getting recognized by the masses.

With over 200 million accounts on Twitter, Shelton is floating around the #615 spot on the Top Followers list with over 1,100,000 followers (just around 50 spots ahead of fellow Voice judge, Christina Aguilera), according to twitaholic.com. He also has over 2 million likes on Facebook.

For those who appreciate old-school country with a slight modern twist, go order your last minute tickets. Shelton has only one more tour date on the east coast so catch him while you can. Dia Frampton, of The Voice, and Justin Moore will be his opening acts.

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