Blake Shelton has been swiveling his chair toward talented singers for 17 seasons as a coach on The Voice. In fact, Blake has been the only coach to be a part of every season since the show’s inception in 2011. At this point, it’s hard to imagine the show without him.
However, Blake dropped a bit of knowledge to media members during a The Voice event at Nashville’s Ole Red on Nov. 14. Blake revealed he wasn’t the show’s first choice as a coach from the country community—Reba McEntire was.
“If I’m not mistaken, they wanted Reba to be a coach on The Voice first,” said Blake. “I hope I’m not saying something I shouldn’t say. It’s out there now. But they wanted Reba, and they knew they wanted a country artist to be a coach on The Voice to fill that lane.”
Blake revealed that Starstruck Entertainment owner—and Reba’s husband at the time—Navel Blackstock recommended him for the gig.
“So, Narvel told them, you know, Reba can’t do it, you know, but hey, I got this other guy that I manage that’s got all the time in the world.”
As to why Reba passed on the job, Blake recalled the timing just wasn’t right for her.
“They called Starstruck, and Reba at the time, you know, for whatever reason, I can’t remember,” said Blake. “She may have had her Malibu Country show going at the time, for whatever reason, she couldn’t do it, or they just decided it wasn’t the thing for her at the time. ‘What is The Voice? It sounds dumb, right? I don’t know, I’m Reba McEntire. I’m in this chair and I hit a button and my chair turns around.’ Like, it sounded weird to probably anybody they pitched it to, honestly.”
photo by Jim Casey, NCD