The country star, 41, paid homage to his late sibling on Twitter Monday, writing: “Lost my brother 27 years ago today. I was only 14 at the time but it changed my life forever… Made me realize that life is precious and there’s no time like RIGHT NOW to go for it… We still miss you Richie!!”
Richie died in a car accident on Nov. 13, 1990, in their home state of Oklahoma. He was 24.
Two years ago, for the 25th anniversary of Richie’s death, Shelton tweeted: “Wow… 25 years ago today we lost my brother Richie Shelton. He’s still my hero going strong. Wish everyone could’ve known him.”
The profound loss of his big brother still impacts The Voice coach nearly three decades after.
“I remember picking up the phone to call him a week after he was dead, to tell him something. I was picking up the phone to call him, to tell him something I just saw on TV or, and it was like constantly a shock to me that he was dead,” Shelton said in a 60 Minutes interview in 2014.
“After Richie died, Blake said Christmas wasn’t fun for a long time because of all the memories — the presents and the time together, and then it all just going black in your mind,” Lambert told PEOPLE in 2012 about the emotional lyrics.
“Blake would always drive around with his brother singing along to Travis Tritt and Hank Jr.,” Lambert said of the inspiration. “Blake’s dad gave him all of Richie’s tapes, and Blake would just listen to them and hear Richie’s voice. We laughed when we wrote [the last line in that verse] because Blake was like, ‘Richie would’ve been so pissed I got all those records!’ “