Country star Blake Shelton has shrugged off criticism of his new song “Minimum Wage”, insisting haters are simply trying to “pick a fight.”
The “Boys ‘Round Here” singer came under attack after debuting the tune during a TV performance on New Year’s Eve (31Dec20), revealing he’d penned the track about his romance with fiancee Gwen Stefani.
However, some of the lyrics in the chorus didn’t sit well with viewers as Shelton sang, “Girl, your love can make a man feel rich on minimum wage.”
Twitter trolls took aim at the musician for the use of the “tone deaf” reference amid the COVID-19 pandemic, during which so many businesses have been forced to shutter while millions of people have been left out of work or struggling to make ends meet.
Shelton admits the backlash initially gave him pause, but after evaluating the situation, he concluded he had nothing to apologise for.
“I just feel like these days, there are people out there who don’t want to know the truth,” he told CMT. “They just want to hear what they want to hear, and they want to pick a fight.”
He added, “No matter what your intention is, no matter what the truth is, they want it to be something that they can be upset about so that they can get on social media and try to grab a headline…”
“Whatever this backlash is is just four or five people that probably don’t know anything about country music.”
Describing the meaning of “Minimum Wage”, the loved-up singer said, “(It’s a love song about) how if times are tight and you ain’t (sic) got much money – as long as you have love and you’re happy – at the end of the day, that’s all any of us can really hope for.”
“You got it if you got that. That’s all that matters. And if that’s offensive to you, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.”
Shelton concluded, “I believe this song is a great message and I’m proud of it.”