Oklahoma native Blake Shelton moved to Nashville in 1994, two weeks after his high school graduation, to launch a songwriting career that would eventually make him one of the leading males in contemporary country music. Back home, he'd received statewide attention by touring the bar circuit and winning the Denbo Diamond Award, the top award for young Oklahoma entertainers. In Nashville, Shelton was able to maintain that momentum by selling songs to several publishing houses, including Naomi Martin Music, Warner/Chappell Music, and Jerry Crutchfield Music. He also landed a solo contract with Giant Records. Favoring a traditional style of country music that included sentimental ballads as well as blue-collar rock songs, he made a splash in 2001 with the chart-topping single "Austin," which spent five weeks at number one. "All Over Me" and "Ol' Red" followed in 2002, pushing Shelton's accompanying debut album -- the self-titled Blake Shelton, released by Warner Bros. after the dissolution of Giant Records -- to gold status.