Blake Shelton Country Star to Do a Benefit for Oklahoma Tornado Victims


Blake Shelton, the country music star who hails from Oklahoma, has announced that he will do a benefit on NBC television for the tornado victims of his home state.

Shelton is the first entertainer to step forward and set up a benefit.

The country star spoke to CNN after finishing taping the Tuesday segment of the popular The Voice. Blake told CNN that, “We are actually putting together a fund-raiser right now with NBC. We’ll have more details within the next 24 hours, but definitely something with NBC that is going to happen real fast, and hopefully raise a lot of money.”

Shelton related that he had an epiphany after he and his wife Miranda Lamber sang a moving version of their hit song, Over You. The song had been written by the couple as a tribute to his brother who died when the singer was a teenager.

He decided then that, “Over You was just the perfect song to fit, and maybe help some people heal and mourn and all those things.”

The singer went on to explain that he had a personal connection to the community that had suffered the worst of the destruction. Monday, he said, “was a tough day for any Oklahoman and you know, Miranda and I are both residents of Oklahoma. I was born and raised in Oklahoma there and Miranda lives there now. It was tough to land here in LA and look at (media coverage) on the phone and go, ‘Oh my gosh, we just left there.'”

Shelton said that he had family very near some of the hardest hit areas.”I spent three Christmases at my sister’s house in Moore, Oklahoma, and some of those helicopter views of the destruction, you could see her house a quarter of a mile away from there,” Shelton said.

“My nieces and nephews would have gone to that school (Plaza Towers Elementary), and when you start putting it in that sort of perspective, and then thinking, ‘Oh my God, I am so glad that they recently moved away from that area.’ And then you go, ‘What about all those people that didn’t?’ It’s hard to put into words, honestly.”

Shelton’s fellow coach on The Voice, Usher,has said that he hopes to be a part of the benefit.”I have family in Oklahoma City,” he said. “My little sister, Ashira — her family is OK. Unfortunately, that is something that you can’t — all you can do is put your best efforts forward, just let those who have been a part of this tragic reality, this natural disaster, know that we are thinking about them and care about them. I think that is 100 percent the effort.”

This benefit that he is planning with the network has come after he sang “Over You” with his wife Miranda, as the Red Cross’s phone number flashed onscreen. Shelton also talked to Billboard and said that he expected that everything would come together quickly for the benefit and he added that, “I can call in some really big favours.”

NBC has put together benefits before that help victims of another natural disaster, that one was NBC’s Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together benefit. That telethon was thrown together quickly as well.

It’s likely that Shelton’s fellow Voice coaches Adam Levine, Usher, Shakira, and possibly even Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green will all lend a hand.

There are more country singers who have roots in Oklahoma. Singers like Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, and Trisha Yearwood who would all probably help out Shelton and Miranda.

The tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma and Oklahoma City  and killed at least 24 people and leveled schools, hospitals, and hundreds of homes.

By Michael Smith

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