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.”
so @blakeshelton’s new song- “Girl, your love can make a man feel rich on minimum wage.”
lot’s to say about a millionaire releasing that song this year.
but i/c anyone needed reminding-
financial health/stability & mental health are interdependent.
love has little to do with it https://t.co/97ckpjl2hK
— Chelsea Crowell (@cjanecrowell) January 2, 2021
“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.