Blake Shelton is from Oklahoma and has a home there
The singer and "The Voice" coach says he is working on a benefit
His fellow coach, Usher, also has a personal connection to the area
Oklahoma native Blake Shelton is the first entertainer to announce a benefit for tornado victims in his home state.
After Tuesday night’s taping of “The Voice,” the country music superstar told CNN, “We are actually putting together a fund-raiser right now with NBC. We’ll have more details within the next 24 hours, but definitely something with NBC that is going to happen real fast, and hopefully raise a lot of money.”
The revelation came after he and his wife, Miranda Lambert, sang an especially poignant rendition of their hit “Over You,” which the couple wrote as a tribute to Shelton’s brother, who died when Shelton was a teenager.
“‘Over You’ was just the perfect song to fit, and maybe help some people heal and mourn and all those things,” Shelton said.
Shelton revealed he had a personal connection to the community with the most devastation.
“(Monday) was a tough day for any Oklahoman,” he said. “And you know, Miranda and I are both residents of Oklahoma. I was born and raised in Oklahoma there and Miranda lives there now. It was tough to land here in LA and look at (media coverage) on the phone and go, ‘Oh my gosh, we just left there.’”
The country singer said he has family very near some of the hardest hit areas.
“I spent three Christmases at my sister’s house in Moore, Oklahoma, and some of those helicopter views of the destruction, you could see her house a quarter of a mile away from there,” Shelton said. “My nieces and nephews would have gone to that school (Plaza Towers Elementary), and when you start putting it in that sort of perspective, and then thinking, ‘Oh my God, I am so glad that they recently moved away from that area.’ And then you go, ‘What about all those people that didn’t?’ It’s hard to put into words, honestly.”
Shelton’s fellow coach on “The Voice,” singer Usher, said he hopes to be part of the benefit.
“I have family in Oklahoma City,” he said. “My little sister, Ashira – her family is OK. Unfortunately, that is something that you can’t – all you can do is put your best efforts forward, just let those who have been a part of this tragic reality, this natural disaster, know that we are thinking about them and care about them. I think that is 100 percent the effort.”