Blake Shelton is the latest recipient of the CRB (Country Radio Broadcasters) Artist Humanitarian Award. The singer, who was given the award by last year's recipient, Dierks Bentley, was honored for his numerous charitable efforts, including a recent $6000,000 donation to the Jimmy Everest center in Oklahoma, taking care of children with cancer, and organizing and hosting the Healing in the Heartland benefit, following Oklahoma's devastating tornado.
"This is a much bigger deal than I thought it would be. I feel a little awkward right now, 'cause I was told this was a luncheon, and I guess technically, you guys have eaten," Shelton quipped. "This was a way bigger deal than I thought it would be."
The 42-year-old was quick to deflect any praise for his generosity, instead praising the genre he is proud to be included in.
"I think the cool thing about country artists is I feel like we all step up, any time we get a chance," Shelton said. "We have the easy part. We get to make music and somehow that helps to generate awareness for certain things. It generates money for certain things. And I don't think any of us don't step up anytime we get a chance."
In true Shelton fashion, he couldn't stay serious for long, using the moment to poke fun at his career, and his lack of nominations in recent years for major awards.
"I think at the end of the day, y'all were just trying to think of something to give me. 'Cause I don't win anything anymore, so it's like, 'Give him the Humanitarian Award!" Shelton joked. "It doesn't mean that I don't very much appreciate it. I'm so happy. I couldn't be more honored."
Shelton divides his time between his home state of Oklahoma and Nashville, but will soon return to his temporary home away from home in Los Angeles, to film Season 16 of The Voice, which this year will include Brooks & Dunn as his advisers. The show, which this year also has Adam Levine, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend as coaches, will premiere on Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
Shelton will also kick off his Friends & Heroes Tour on Feb. 14, with an impressive list of opening acts, including Trace Adkins, the Bellamy Brothers, John Anderson and Lauren Alaina. Dates and venue information can be found at his official website..
Photo Credit: Getty images / Tara Ziemba