Blake Shelton has a schedule that’s keeping him less than fancy-free these days, but he’s still feeling footloose.
Named male vocalist of the year in 2010 by the Country Music Association, the singer — who’s also the husband of fellow award-winning music star Miranda Lambert, a coach on NBC’s “The Voice” (which returns in a post-Super Bowl slot Sunday, Feb. 5) and an avid Tweeter — is having a hugely active week.
He’s a guest performer on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” tonight (Tuesday, Oct. 11) as a tie-in to Friday’s (Oct. 14) opening of the movie remake of “Footloose,” for which Shelton has recorded a cover version of the energetic title tune originally made famous by Kenny Loggins in 1984.
Shelton will make his “Dancing With the Stars” debut as series veteran Julianne Hough, the female lead in “Footloose,” does her thing on the dance floor. “Being in television now, I know the power of a show like that and of being able to perform on it,” the friendly Shelton tells Zap2it from the “Dancing” set.
‘It’s eye-opening, the difference it makes in your career if you’re a musician. Anytime an opportunity like this comes up, there’s no question we’re going to jump at it. It’s hard to pay attention to what you’re supposed to be doing when you have Julianne Hough out there in front of you; I just did the dress rehearsal, and she was absolutely giving it everything she had. Next thing you knew, I was forgetting the words to my own song!”
Though he’s never met Loggins, Shelton cites “Footloose” as “one of those songs you’re born knowing and born loving. It’s a classic, it’s a standard. Pressure or not, there’s no way I wouldn’t want to be the guy to get the opportunity to be on that soundtrack. When you were a kid, you had your air guitar and stood in front of the mirror and sang ‘Footloose.’ If nothing else, it’s just so much fun.”
Shelton will be up for five more honors — including entertainer of the year — when ABC televises the 45th Annual CMA Awards on Wednesday, Nov. 9. He claims he never was daunted about being the new “Footloose” crooner: “It was like, ‘I know I can do that.’ The second I stop doing things that are fun for me in this business, that’s when I’m gonna quit.
“With the year I’ve had, an opportunity like ‘Footloose’ is icing on the cake. That’s something I selfishly would want to do, because I love that song and I remember that era. If it goes on to be a huge success, that’s even better, but I’m just proud that I got to be a part of it.”