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Blake Shelton Faces Backlash Over ‘Tone-Deaf’ Song ‘Minimum Wage’ Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Hitting all the wrong notes. Blake Shelton fans aren’t too pleased about the country star’s latest song “Minimum Wage,” which some feel does a disservice to those struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Related: Stars Who Drew Backlash for Their Controversial Views on Coronavirus

The Voice coach, 44, performed the new track for the first time on NBC’s New Year’s Eve special and debuted lyrics inspired by his fiancée, Gwen Stefani. “Girl, your love can make a man feel rich on minimum wage,” Shelton sings in the chorus.

Country music fanatics were quick to express their thoughts about the new track as small business owners and other citizens continue to face financial hardship during the COVID-19 health crisis.

Blake Shelton Criticized for Tone Deaf Song Minimum Wage Amid Pandemic
Blake Shelton performs during NBC’s New Year’s Eve 2021 Warner Music Nashville

“The irony of listening to a millionaire Blake Shelton singing about ‘love on minimum wage’ at the end of 2020 might be lost on its target audience,” one social media user wrote via Twitter during the broadcast.

Another questioned the “timing” of the song’s release, especially while plenty of people have been forced to make major sacrifices as the pandemic rages on. “With so many people out of work and struggling the song feels a little tone-deaf,” the fan tweeted. “I’d like to hear songs that are more personal. Wish he wrote more of his own stuff because he’s an incredible songwriter.”

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One listener even claimed Shelton owed his fans an apology. “From what I read you’ve [pissed] a lot of people off during a time when we need songs of hope and charity, not more crap about how much you and Gwen are in love. What an insult to all of us. Boooooo,” the Twitter user wrote.

Before kicking off his performance, the Grammy nominee gushed about his 2020 experience, which ended on a high note with his engagement to Stefani, 51, after five years of dating. The longtime couple broke the happy news via Instagram in October 2020​​​, and a source told Us Weekly exclusively soon after that the pair plan on tying the knot “most likely early next year.”

“I can’t speak for everybody else, but I had a great 2020,” Shelton told Carson Daly on New Year’s Eve. “Even though a lot of bad stuff happened personally for me, I got engaged to Gwen Stefani, and I don’t care what else happened besides that. That made it a great year.”

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By the end of 2020, as many as 40 million Americans faced homelessness after a year of heightened unemployment, and more than 350,000 people died of the coronavirus.

Shelton has yet to respond publicly to the backlash.

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