Here’s how Troy Aikman got Blake Shelton to headline his country music marathon

Here’s how Troy Aikman got Blake Shelton to headline his country music marathon

The Dallas Cowboys superstar needed the country superstar to headline a concert. So he pulled out his phone.

Blake Shelton, the country music star and judge of The Voice, will headline “Troy Aikman’s Highway to Henryetta,” a one-day country music marathon on June 11 in Henryetta, Okla.

Aikman wants to raise money for his hometown and needed some star power. Shelton, an Oklahoma native who has a home in Tishomingo, Okla., was a natural choice for his celebrity appeal and affinity for the state.

So how did Aikman land Shelton? He sent him a text message.

In August, Aikman was in Canton, Ohio, to present Jimmy Johnson with his gold Hall of Fame jacket. As he was about to leave his hotel room, he sent Shelton a text.

“I said, ‘Hey, Blake, I’m going to host a music festival in my hometown Henryetta on June 11,’” Aikman said, reading the actual text. “’It’ll be first class in every way … I wanted to see if we can talk with your folks about you headlining it. We want an Oklahoma presence, and you’re my first choice. I know these asks can be a pain in the ass, and I don’t want it to be for you, so if you want to put me in contact with your manager that’s cool, too. Appreciate you.’

“He responded almost immediately. ‘Hey there, boss. Good to hear from you. That’s a great idea. I’ve been kicking around doing one myself somewhere around Texhoma the last three years, but I’ve been too lazy to put it together… I’m glad that you’re doing something here in Oklahoma.’

“Blake gave me his manager’s number, so we were off and running.”

Emmett Beliveau, chief operating officer of C3 Presents, the Austin-based concert promoter that will help put the festival together, says launching any new festival is a challenge, but “Troy Aikman’s Highway to Henryetta” has lots of potential.

“We couldn’t be starting from a better position than with the dual headliners of Troy Aikman and Blake Shelton.”


Henry Strother

Henry Strother started working for Business Journal in 2020.  Henry grew up in a small town in Western Florida, but moved to Tampa to attend college.  Before joining Business Journal, Henry worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations.  He covers business, technology and lifestyle stories.