After originally premiering the song on New Year's Eve, Blake Shelton has officially released his new single "Minimum Wage," sending the song to country radio on Friday, Jan. 15. A romantic track about needing nothing besides the love of your partner, "Minimum Wage" was written by Nicolle Galyon, Corey Crowder and Jesse Frasure.
"You could make a six-pack on the carpet / Taste like a million-dollar bill / You could make a one-bedroom apartment feel like a house up on the hill / You could make my truck out in the driveway / Roll like a cleaned-up Cadillac / Girl lookin’ at you, looking at me that way / Could make a man feel rich on minimum wage."
"I heard ‘Minimum Wage’ over a year ago and connected with it immediately," Shelton said in a statement. "It’s the timeless truth that you don’t need a lot of money or possessions, you just need love." The Oklahoma native added that he relates "so much to the lyrics of this song. I have a lot of great memories playing dive bars in Nashville and then driving back to Oklahoma to play a gig. I gravitate toward songs that feel like the stories of where I’ve been and where I am currently in my life, and I’ve got a lot of happiness in joy in my life these days."
The singer told CMT that he looks back fondly on his own days of having just enough money to go around. "Just like probably 95 percent of artists out there, I struggled for so long to get by," he said. "But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade those times for anything. Those days when the big struggle was, 'Man, do I pay my rent or my electric bill, or do I just say screw it and go buy some beer?' You had to decide because you didn’t have enough to go around."
"But those really were some of the best days of my life that I still think about all the time," he added. "And I think about all the jobs and things that I did over the years, just so I could play music for free somewhere."
Shelton also addressed criticism of the song, noting that people sharing negative opinions relating to the idea of singing about minimum wage "probably don’t know anything about country music."
"One of the longest-standing traditions in country music is lyrics about love," he declared. "And if you’ve got love, then that’s all that matters. There won’t be much left to play or write about on country radio if this is something that we have to think twice about. So I’m going to put out the records that resonate with me and my life and not look back. 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."