As the coronavirus pandemic continues to close bars and venues and force people to self-isolate, Blake Shelton is speaking out about the outbreak. The singer is closing all of his Ole Red locations, while vowing to continue to pay his employees, and urges fans to listen to the advice of health and government officials and stay away from other people.
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"I haven't said anything about my Ole Red locations, the three that are open and then the one that's going to be open in Orlando," Shelton said in a video posted on social media. "Obviously, I felt like it kind of went without saying that all of the locations are closed down, but I wanted to officially say that obviously, until this thing gets behind us, we've closed down the Nashville, Tishomingo and Gatlinburg locations. I want people to know that we do have a commitment to all of our employees, and we're taking care of them, and we're trying to figure out ways to take care of some of the artists and musicians that perform at the Ole Reds."
Shelton went on to say he was looking into some fund-raising options to help those who perform regularly at Ole Red, before asking his fans to stay away from other people for the immediate future.
"Until this thing gets behind us, we all have to do the right thing, so I'm out here in the middle of nowhere," Shelton said, panning his camera to his Oklahoma ranch. "Just do the right thing, stay away from everybody. For some of us, that's not hard, 'cause nobody likes us.
"I will be coming back to you all, and passing along any new information, as far as Ole Reds go, and when we may reopen," he continued. "But for now, let's not think about that. Let's take our mandatory vacation and try to enjoy it. I'm thinking about y'all, and see you down the road."
Shelton was forced to postpone the last five shows on his Friends and Heroes Tour, which he says will be rescheduled for a later date. His current next scheduled show is on May 2 in Austin, Texas. Find dates on his website.
Photo Credit: Getty / Erika Goldring