Blake Shelton Shows Again How Controversy Boosts Twitter Followers; Violent Anti-Gay Tweet Earns Country Superstar 40,000 Extra with Possibly More to Come

[box type=”note” style=”rounded” border=”full”]This is Part One of Two
Part Two: Social Media Advice for Country Superstar @BlakeShelton (Not that He Asked Or Knows Who I Am)[/box]


Country Superstar and music coach from NBC’s reality music competition “The Voice” found himself in deep water with a tweet when he “rewrote” a Shania Twain song with these words:

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full” icon=””]@BlakeShelton
Re-writing my fav Shania Twain song.. Any man that tries Touching my behind He’s gonna be a beaten, bleedin’, heaving kind of guy…[/box]

Almost immediately, Blake gets a little backlash from his 250,000+ followers. Notorious for his drunken binges, which he tweets about often (including a recent reference to slapping a Ziplock bag of urine), the country star follows it up with this:

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full” icon=””]@BlakeShelton
Ba! Ha! Reading all my anti-gay hate tweets…. Ha! Ha! If people only knew even a little about me, my family and friends. Dumb asses…[/box]

Just a quick note to you, Blake: Umm… chances are most people don’t.

Controversy is among the major emotional factors that will garner followers. We’ve seen this with Charlie Sheen (@CharlieSheen) and Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert), who both saw a jolt and continued growth — although Charlie has begun to approach his plateau or saturation point and is unlike to break through to significantly higher number short of some remarkable event with another big star.

For Blake, a few words and the subsequent media coverage meant a huge surge.

What you’re seeing in the chart (even if you go back further) is Blake was steadily climbing until “The Voice” premiered on April 26, when you see the first significant increase. But the next skyrocket is on May 4 when his Gay-bashing tweet comes out. And from there, he’s headed into the stratosphere.

As of 7:30 a.m. Eastern on May 13, @BlakeShelton had 337,678 followers. He probably received close to 40,000 additional followers due to his controversial statement based on my estimation:

All that said, I don’t know if the country music star is stumbling drunk, stumbling through this social media experiment of just stumbling. We’re not done yet. If the media puts together what comes next, we could see another increase in Twitter followers for Blake.

Blake’s Next Boost

Let’s follow the timeline from the initial posts on May 4.

Of course following the initial faux pas, Blake’s publicity team got to him (and probably a few people from NBC got to him, but more on that in a moment) and he retracted a few tweets and about 24 hours later, after claiming it all a joke with some of his followers and making some off-color Lesbian jokes. His retraction (in order of posts):

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full” icon=””]@BlakeShelton

Hey y’all allow me to seriously apologize for the misunderstanding with the whole re-write on the Shania song last night…

It honestly wasn’t even meant that way… I now know that their are people out there waiting to jump at everything I say on here or anywhere

But when it comes to gay/lesbian rights or just feelings… I love everybody. So go look for a real villain and leave me out of it!!![/box]

Apology? Not good enough, apparently, even after Blake retweeted Maroon 5 front-man and fellow coach on “The Voice” Adam Levine, a supporter of Gay and Lesbian rights, who wrote:

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full” icon=””]@BlakeShelton
“@adamlevine:what did you go and say now?Don’t sweat it big country. I know you’re a good person. Well…yeah you’re a good person.” Ha! Ha![/box]

Blake followed it up with an appeal to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation or GLAAD:

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full” icon=””]@BlakeShelton
@glaad hey I want my fans and @nbcthevoice fans to know that anti-gay and lesbian violence is unacceptable!!!!! Help me!!!! And DM me…[/box]

Now Blake is asking GLAAD representatives to send him a direct message or DM on Twitter. DMs are a little like e-mail. Interestingly enough, though, DMs can only be sent to people who follow others. So @glaad cannot send @blakeshelton because Blake doesn’t follow GLAAD. Bad move (and something the media missed when they mentioned it). In fact, checking out who Blake actually follows — among the 228 — none appear to be openly Gay or Lesbian.

Here’s the next interesting point.

Blake stars as a coach on “The Voice.” If you haven’t seen it, coaches don’t meet and can’t see the performers when choosing them for a team of eight.

Blake chose Gay Mormon Tyler Robinson for his team based on his singing chops, who outed himself on national television and told his father that he was Gay (something NBC glossed over but the Gay and Lesbian press picked up on and covered).

Once seeing and meeting the eight contestants, coaches put them up against another one in a kind of duel to whittle their team down to four members.

Blake put his openly Gay Tyler up against an all-American cowboy from Texas, Patrick Thomas, who even wore a white cowboy hat during his try-out. Patrick, who was also a talented singer, also had a leg up, familiar with the Elvis song “Burning Love,” while Tyler struggled with a song he’d never heard from the ultimate lady’s man.

NBC’s  show on Tuesday, May 10, interestingly, edited in a conversation that implied Patrick was straight with Blake’s helper Reba McEntire asking whether the young, good-looking Patrick had a girlfriend or a girl he liked. Answers to both questions happened to be, “No.”

Any watchers of the show know that Patrick suffered from bullying throughout his school years. And news coverage of late had focused on how Gay and Lesbian youths are picked on more frequently. This make no assumption as to Patrick’s true sexuality. The perception effort NBC put into play — out, loud Gay man versus quiet, shy, cute cowboy.

Then NBC skipped the conversation with Tyler, if there even was one.

The two take the stage and, at the conclusion, two of the other celebrities feel that Tyler won.

But in the end, Blake chose the perceived “straight” one, Patrick.

While the news media has covered Blake’s initial tweet issues, not a lot have yet connected the elimination of the Gay contestant to the much-too-coincidental timing, especially since all of “The Voice” rounds were filmed well before Blake decided to declare physical war on men who might touch his ass.

Now the two incidents will be put together — hateful Gay statements and eliminating the Gay guy from the competition. As we seeing a trend? Even Blake’s followers noticed:

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full” icon=””]@BlakeShelton
And.. For those of you upset about me not picking Tyler put your money where your mouth is.. Go buy the boys song on iTunes!! It’s bad ass!![/box]

But already there’s some momentum building and some media is putting it together. And @BlakeShelton is feeling the heat. He’s about to be offline for a while. His final statement to everyone before signing off on May 12:

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full” icon=””]@BlakeShelton

Hey y’all friends, fans and freaks. I’m not going to be here for a few days so stir shit up for me while I’m gone. I’m going to get buried..

Oh and one last thing to my haters.. Kiss My Ass!!!!! Ha! Ha! #winning[/box]

Winning. Indeed. If the media puts this one together, another 40,000 followers or more is certainly possible.

Published by

Michael Cheek

With more than 20 years of communication experience, Michael Cheek offers solid marketing expertise, especially in the digital frontier. He currently resides in Georgia but he's open to relocate anywhere the opportunities take him. Learn more at You can follow him on Twitter at and see more about his professional experience at Reach him via e-mail at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.