Blake Shelton on Prioritizing Gwen Stefani and Kids Over His Career: 'A New Phase of My Life' (Exclusive)

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As they say: happy wife, happy life -- and it sounds like Blake Shelton is on board with that.

More than a year since the country star exchanged vows with his longtime love, Gwen Stefani, Shelton confirmed to ET's Cassie DiLaura he's in a "new phase" of his life. 

"Look, I love music and I love The Voice. I love all the cool things I get to do with my job, but those things all take a backseat now to Gwen and the kids and it’s just a new phase of my life," he shares, referencing Stefani's three sons with ex Gavin Rossdale.

As a result, Shelton said, he's not in the same rat race with his career and has the freedom of releasing singles. "I’m having fun putting out songs when I feel like it and luckily the record label allows me to do that," he shares. "They always support it when I do it and my stupid ideas of doing a '90s country video -- they're always on board and because of that, we have a 'God's Country' once in a while or a 'Happy Anywhere.'"

The singer adds, "I just go, 'Hey, I want to do this. Will you guys help me?' and they’ll jump on board and we've had some big records that way. Hopefully this will be another one."

That 'one' he's referring to is his newly released track, "No Body," along with a throwback music video -- mullet included. 

It's a callback to the 46-year-old's earliest years in music, back when he was a young aspiring singer starting out in Nashville. Around that same time, a California band named No Doubt was climbing the charts with hits like "Just a Girl" and "Don't Speak."

What would young Shelton have said had he known one day they would be husband and wife?

"I would have probably said, 'Are you talking about that girl that holds up the orange in her video?' I never understood until now that she's from Orange County," he admits. "My entire life of knowing who Gwen Stefani even was was 'Is that the girl that holds the orange up in the video? Oh my god, she's so hot, but why is she obsessed with this freaking orange, you know?'" 

And though he's putting his other half and their family first, that doesn't mean Shelton has forsaken his beloved craft. 

"I wanna keep my music side of what I do alive from now til they fire me -- fans fire me. The TV stuff’s fun and it’s been great for me and it has actually helped pour over into my music," he says. "I’ve pulled an audience from TV that maybe didn’t even know who I was, probably didn’t know who I was when I started on The Voice and it’s kind of been the thing that took me to a different level in my career and I love that."

But at the end of the day, Shelton said, a country singer is all he's ever considered himself professionally. "When everything else is said and done," he notes, "that's what I hope to still have alive."

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