Blake Shelton Responds to Criticism of 'Minimum Wage' Lyrics: People 'Hear What They Want to Hear'
Blake Shelton believes his critics "clearly hadn’t heard the song or read the lyrics," he said in an interview with CMT
In an interview with CMT Thursday, the 44-year-old country crooner addressed some of the backlash received on social media for his new song, accusing him of writing tone-deaf lyrics considering his wealth.
"Girl, lookin' at you lookin' at me that way / Can make a man feel rich on minimum wage," the chorus goes. "Girl, your love is money, your love is money / Yeah, your love can make a man feel rich on minimum wage."
Shelton told CMT about the backlash, "At first I thought, 'Wow, I guess I just I've missed something here.' And the more I read into this, I realized this was really not real."
"Whatever this backlash is is just four or five people that probably don't know anything about country music," he continued. "They clearly hadn't heard the song or read the lyrics. If they had, they couldn't feel this way about the song."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
The Voice coach described his new single as "literally a love song about how if times are tight and you ain't got much money — as long as you have love and you're happy — at the end of the day, that's all any of us can really hope for. You got it if you got that. That's all that matters."
"And if that's offensive to you, then we'll just have to agree to disagree," he added.
Shelton also feels like "these days, there are people out there who don't want to know the truth," he said when asked if he was surprised by the criticism, admitting he wasn't.
"They just want to hear what they want to hear, and they want to pick a fight," he said. "No matter what your intention is, no matter what the truth is, they want it to be something that they can be upset about so that they can get on social media and try to grab a headline."
RELATED VIDEO: Blake Shelton Congratulates Gwen Stefani as Their Duet Hits No. 1: "Not Bad for Your First Try"
Shelton also told CMT that he personally "related to the lyrics so much" because "just like probably 95 percent of artists out there, I struggled for so long to get by."
"But at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade those times for anything," he shared. "Those days when the big struggle was, 'Man, do I pay my rent or my electric bill, or do I just say screw it and go buy some beer?' You had to decide because you didn't have enough to go around."
Still, they "were some of the best days of [his] life" that Shelton still looks back on with fondness "all the time."
"And I think about all the jobs and things that I did over the years, just so I could play music for free somewhere," he said.