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Blake Shelton Responded To Backlash Over His Song "Minimum Wage" After People Called It "Tone Deaf"

"If that's offensive to you, then we'll just have to agree to disagree."

ICYMI, country star Blake Shelton found himself at the centre of some controversy at the beginning of the year after debuting his new song, "Minimum Wage," on New Year's Eve.

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Shelton received some criticism online for the lyrics, which compare a woman's love to riches, with many people arguing it was inconsiderate for a multimillionaire to release a song about being on minimum wage during a year of record unemployment in the US.

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People also took issue with the way Shelton introduced the song when speaking to Carson Daly on NBC's New Year's Eve.

"I can't speak for everybody else, but I had a great 2020," he said. "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 for me."

Plenty of people called the song "tone deaf," and said it made Shelton seem clueless to the current state of the world.

Does anyone else find Blake Shelton’s “Minimum Wage” song to be incredibly tone deaf to our country’s current state?

Twitter: @KYLE0REN

blake shelton singing “your love could make a man feel rich on minimum wage” just cements the fact that rich people have absolutely no fucking clue

Twitter: @cecemado

A mega millionaire romanticizing minimum wage is peak 2020. Blake Shelton can go fuck himself.

Twitter: @mrsjulieholt

The musician appeared at #70 on Forbes' annual list of the world's highest-paid celebrities, with the magazine estimating he earned $43.5m in 2020.

But Shelton has now responded directly to the backlash, saying that if people find it offensive, they just have to "agree to disagree."

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In an interview with CMT on Thursday, Shelton said he "related" to the song because of his own struggles making ends meet in the early days of his career.

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"Just like probably 95 per cent of artists out there, I struggled for so long to get by," Shelton explained. "But at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade those times for anything."

"It's literally a love song about how if times are tight and you ain't got much money — as long as you have love and you're happy — at the end of the day, that's all any of us can really hope for," he added.

The Voice coach went on to say that people who were criticising the song "clearly hadn't heard [it] or read the lyrics," and it was likely "four or five people that probably don't know anything about country music."

"I just feel like these days, there are people out there who don't want to know the truth," he said. "They just want to hear what they want to hear, and they want to pick a fight."

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"No matter what your intention is, no matter what the truth is, they want it to be something that they can be upset about so that they can get on social media and try to grab a headline," Shelton went on.

"With 'Minimum Wage,' at first I thought, 'Wow, I guess I just I've missed something here,'" he said. "And the more I read into this, I realised this was really not real."

When asked why it took so long for him to address the criticism, Shelton said it's because it was "absolutely ridiculous" and "didn't even deserve a response."

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"That's why I didn't come out initially and say anything, because they're not entitled to a response from me," he said. "This is absolutely ridiculous."

He later added: "As country artists and as an industry, we have to stay focused here and know that what's right is right. And I believe this song is a great message and I'm proud of it."

You can read Blake Shelton's full interview with CMT here.

Ellie Bate is a celebrity reporter and talent coordinator at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

Contact Ellie Bate at eleanor.bate@buzzfeed.com.

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