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How Blake Shelton Continues to Honor His Late Brother, Richie

It's been over 30 years since The Voice Coach has lost his brother. 

By Jessica White

The Voice alum Blake Shelton tragically lost his brother, 24-year-old Richie, in 1990. Shelton was just 14 at the time. Richie died in a car accident. 

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Shelton has opened up about the heartbreaking incident many times throughout his career. He even dedicated his recent Hollywood Walk of Fame star to his brother.

Shelton continues to hold Richie close to his heart, leading him to honor his memory in several heartwarming ways. Below, read just a few of them. 

Blake Shelton remembers Richie Shelton on the anniversary of his death

On the 27th anniversary of Richie's passing, Shelton took to Twitter to reflect on missing his older brother, encouraging fans to always remember life is precious.

"Lost my brother 27 years ago today. I was only 14 at the time but it changed my life forever," Shelton tweeted. "Made me realize that life is precious and there's no time like RIGHT NOW to go for it ... We still miss you Richie!!"

RELATED: See Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani's Epic Love Story in 11 Gorgeous Pics

Blake Shelton credits Richie Shelton for his love of music

In an interview with 60 Minutes, Shelton opened up about growing up with Richie, telling the relatable tale of hearing music from his brother's bedroom. That bedroom eavesdropping led Shelton to hear some legendary musicians, inspiring a lifelong love for music. 

“His bedroom was right across the hallway from mine when I was little," Shelton revealed. "And he was listening to Hank Williams, Jr. or Waylon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, or Bob Seeger. I just, whatever was popular really, Richie loved all music. And I would be sitting there going, 'Man, that guy's my hero. That’s the coolest guy. He’s my big brother.'”

Blake Shelton.

Blake Shelton honored his late brother in the wake of a hometown tragedy

After hearing news of a devastating car accident that led to the deaths of several teenagers in his hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma, Shelton called upon his personal experience to encourage well wishes. 

"In the wake of yesterday's unthinkable crash in our small town of Tishomingo, we as a community have all been in shock and broken-hearted," Shelton told People. "I personally know the devastation of suddenly losing a loved one in a car accident. But our community is strong and has come together to support and wrap our arms around the families and friends who are hurting the most."

"There's no question it will take a long time to heal from this tragedy," Shelton concluded. "Keep the prayers coming."

RELATED: Blake Shelton Shares Emotional Video from His Last-Ever Rehearsal on The Voice

Blake Shelton connects with a Season 23 Voice Artist over their shared loss

During the Season 23 Live Playoffs of The Voice, Shelton connected with frontrunner NOIVAS about the shared trauma of losing a brother. After NOIVAS revealed losing his brother inspired him to pursue music more passionately, Shelton opened up about wishing Richie could have seen his journey into stardom. 

"Before my brother passed away, I was very quiet," NOIVAS told Shelton. "It wasn’t until I lost my brother that I started to become fearless.”

“That’s cool your brother got to see you do [music],” Shelton added. "My brother, he would have freaked out if he had known what I went on to do. He was such a huge music fan. You’d hear him coming six blocks away, the stereo blaring out of his truck.”

NOIVAS' resulting Playoff performance was hailed by the Coaches as “one of the best performances of the season.”

Blake Shelton talks about looking up to Richie as a kid

In a 2018 interview with Cowboys & Indians, Shelton chatted about idolizing his older brother growing up. 

“Look, you’re never gonna get over it. For me, my brother was my big brother. I mean, I wanted to be him," Shelton explained. "I wanted to look like him, dress like him, listen to what he listened to, and be into the things he was into. So when he was killed in a car accident, it was literally like the world went silent. There was a void in my world all of a sudden, and I’m still not over it. I’m just used to it.”

Blake Shelton on stage playing guitar.

Shelton dedicates his Hollywood Walk of Fame star to Richie. 

During Shelton's Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in May 2023, he said, “I was talking to my mom this morning and I was thinking about what I want to say when I get up here, and she said to me, she goes, ‘You know, I wish Richie could have been here to see this and everything you’ve done.' And I feel like that’s probably the best way to wrap this up. Richie was my brother I lost many, many years ago. So I dedicate my star on this Walk of Fame to my brother, Richie.” 

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