Blake Shelton saw it coming. Before he ever stepped foot inside the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, Nov. 4, the “Honey Bee” singer, 39, knew that CMAs co-host Brad Paisley was going to give him a hard time.
“This year’s gonna be awkward at the CMAs, speaking of jokes,” Shelton told Seth Meyers in late October. “There’s gotta be one about me and Miranda [Lambert]. Brad Paisley is not doing his job if he doesn’t look down there and go ‘Ha ha!’ You have to address the elephant in the room. We’ve had the conversations like, ‘Okay, dude. I’ll sit there and let you kick me in the face a few times.’ I know it’s coming.”
Paisley, 43, didn’t shy away from teasing his pal about his July divorce from Miranda Lambert. After first joking about Kermit and Miss Piggy’s heartbreaking split (“They’re not even sitting together!”), Paisley then quipped, “On an unrelated note, howdy, Blake!”
Clearly, Shelton didn’t take offense. The day after, he responded to Paisley on Twitter. The “Crushin’ It” singer wrote, “Thanks for being a great sport @Blakeshelton. Love ya bro.” And Shelton replied, “Ha!!! Don’t worry brother man. If there’s anybody on earth who’s learned to take it its me!!! Love you buddy.”
Ha!!! Don’t worry brother man. If there’s anybody on earth who’s learned to take it its me!!! Love you buddy. https://t.co/DyGxhGKAtG
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) November 5, 2015
It was a big night for Shelton, whose romance with fellow Voice coach Gwen Stefani went public just a few hours earlier, when her rep confirmed exclusively to Us Weekly that the two recently started dating.
Neither the relationship news nor the show’s opening monologue stopped Shelton from both performing and presenting at the CMAs. And though he lost out on Male Vocalist of the Year to Chris Stapleton, the Oklahoma native still tweeted, “Awesome night tonight. So many great things happening in my life. Congrats to @ChrisStapleton!!!! Long time coming brother…”
His ex-wife Lambert, 31, also performed and later picked up the Female Vocalist of the Year prize, noting that she had “needed a bright spot this year.”