Blake Shelton Calls Close Friends His ‘Heroes’ In New Interview

'I've gotta say that the handful of really close friends that I have, those are my heroes.'

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'I've gotta say that the handful of really close friends that I have, those are my heroes.'

And then a hero comes along…

While country crooner Blake Shelton may be a hero to many of his millions of fans, it’s Shelton who is crediting everyday people for acting as heroes to him. Recently, the 42-year-old sat down for an interview with People, where his definition of what a hero means to him truly surprised many. Shelton says that as time goes by, he defines the word hero as something totally different than he did in the past.

“You start to find out, the older you get — I guess we all do — that a really good friend is a pretty rare thing to have in your life. That person. I’ve gotta say that the handful of really close friends that I have, those are my heroes. They’re the ones that will just drop everything to be there for you if they need to be. I hold them high.”

And in addition to the friends that he hails as heroes, Shelton says that there is one musical hero in particular that comes to his mind when asked — Earl Thomas Conley. Shelton says that when he won male vocalist of the year at the 2014 CMA Awards, it came as a shock to him that Earl hadn’t won the coveted award in the past. So, Blake took it upon himself to dedicate the award to his musical hero, something that obviously touched Earl, who later reached out to Shelton to thank him.

“He said it had been a lot of years since he had heard his name mentioned from that stage,” Shelton said.

What can we say, we love @OleRedNashville

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He’s always loved the singer but at the age of 18 years old Shelton says that he really began to appreciate Conley’s musical talents — something that also inspired him to dream of having a career of his own one day.

“He has a song called ‘What I’d Say’ that really takes me back. I’d listen to that thing a million times, just by myself in my studio apartment in Nashville, just trying to sing that. I wanted to sing like him, because I knew if I could, I maybe could make it one day.”

And as fans know, there’s one more person in Blake’s life who is really impacting the country star — girlfriend Gwen Stefani. The pair, who have been dating since 2015, regularly make appearances on each other’s social media pages and recently, the Inquisitr shared that Stefani gushed over how in love she is with Shelton. The singer says that she started dressing more feminine for Blake.

“It’s probably because I’m super in love and have a really manly man [Blake Shelton].”

How sweet!