Country music star Blake Shelton has been criticised following the debut of his new song “Minimum Wage”.
The musician, who also appears as a coach on the singing competition series The Voice, shared his new track during a virtual appearance on NBC’s New Year’s Eve special.
Since it aired, however, listeners have been quick to condemn the song as “tone-deaf” and “insensitive”, advising that Shelton “read the room”.
Many commenters quoted the same lyric – which reads: “Girl, your love can make a man feel rich on minimum wage” – as an example of why they have taken issue with the song.
One user referenced America’s soaring unemployment rate in their critique of Shelton’s single, writing: “Does anyone else find Blake Shelton’s ‘Minimum Wage’ song to be incredibly tone deaf to our country’s current state?”
Another wrote: “What?! @blakeshelton is #MinimumWage even for real? Yes of course @gwenstefani can make a dude on minimum wage feel rich cuz she’s a millionaire. Are you working at the Home Depot now or something? Wanna pay my rent?”
Shelton and Gwen Stefani – who also serves as a coach on The Voice – began dating in 2015 after meeting on set for the hit reality competition. The pair announced their engagement last October.
“A mega-millionaire romanticising minimum wage is peak 2020,” said one user.
A fourth added: “The irony of listening to millionaire Blake Shelton singing about ‘love on minimum wage’ at the end of 2020 might be lost on its target audience.”
In a now deleted tweet, one user commented: “I love his music but the timing for Minimum Wage isn’t great. With so many people out of work and struggling the song feels a little tone deaf.”
“As much irony as politicians saying they represent ‘us,’” added another.
Others, however, have defended the singer against the criticism. One person said: “Oh give me a break. He wasn’t always a millionaire, and try listening to the damn song,” while another commented: “Just get over it, it’s a song and there is worse songs and people than Blake.”
“Minimum Wage” is yet to be released in full. The Independent has contacted Shelton’s representatives for comment.
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