Blake Shelton was only 14 years old when his older brother, Richie, was killed in a car accident. Even though almost 28 years have passed since the tragedy occurred, Shelton still mourns the loss of his older brother every day.
"You're never gonna get over it," Shelton tells Cowboys and Indians. "For me, my brother was my big brother. I mean, I wanted to be him. I wanted to look like him, dress like him, listen to what he listened to, and be into the things he was into. So when he was killed in a car accident, it was literally like the world went silent. There was a void in my world all of a sudden, and I'm still not over it. I'm just used to it."
Shelton and his ex-wife, Miranda Lambert, wrote "Over You" about Richie, which Lambert included on her Four the Record album. For Shelton, the loss of his sibling made him realize how important family is, which is why he still prioritizes time with his immediate and extended family.
"I could always, and I can still always, count on my family," Shelton explains. "I could always count on seeing everybody I was related to at least a couple times a year. My family is huge. And when we used to get together — I mean all of us, the entire family — you could always count on an enormous Thanksgiving and a gigantic Christmas. When my grandmother was still alive, she was the glue that kept us all together.
"When we'd start to plan these gatherings, we'd be like, 'Where are we even gonna do this?'" he continues. "There were a couple of times when we actually had to rent a building somewhere so we could fit everybody in. But since she passed away, it's a little sparser. This cousin will get together with that cousin. We all see each other eventually, but not as much as we used to."
Shelton credits his family with making him who he is today, both as a singer and a person.
"I was raised around good people," Shelton boasts. "People who worked hard. And people who had a lot of fun. That's the one thing I got from my family more than anything. My family, it's like they're entertainers. Every single one of them. They are so funny, and so much fun to be around. I know that's where I got my sense of humor, and my ability to be an entertainer and not take myself so seriously. No one in my family takes themselves seriously."
Shelton will return for Season 15 of The Voice on Tuesday, Sept. 25 on NBC, with fellow country star Kelsea Ballerini joining the cast as a fifth judge.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Ethan Miller