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In this week's issue of PEOPLE, the country superstar recalls his first impression of fiancée Gwen Stefani and shares an update on wedding planning

By Brianne Tracy
February 25, 2021 12:00 PM
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When Blake Shelton agreed to join The Voice as a coach 10 years ago, he had no idea just how much it would change his life.

"To be honest, I didn't think the show was gonna last," the country superstar — who coached alongside Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green and Adam Levine during the NBC singing competition show's inaugural season — tells PEOPLE in this week's issue, on newsstands Friday. "In fact one of the first conversations I ever had with Adam was, 'Man, how stupid is this?'"

Ten years later, The Voice is still going strong — and Shelton has a lot to thank it for. Not only did the show propel his career to new heights, it also introduced him to some of his closest friends, as well as his fiancée Gwen Stefani.

For more on The Voice, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day!

Shelton first met Stefani, 44, when she was announced as The Voice's new coach in 2014.

"She surprised everybody with a performance of 'Hollaback Girl,' and then they announced that she was going to be a coach," he recalls. "I remember enjoying her performance, and then after the show, we all took a group picture. It was very much an industry-type meeting, and I told people, 'I met Gwen Stefani. That's crazy.'"

Watch the full episode of People Features: The Voice Turns 10 on PeopleTV.com or on the PeopleTV app.

the voice
Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton
| Credit: NBC

When Stefani started coaching season 7 alongside Shelton later that year, she was still married to ex-husband Gavin Rossdale. Likewise, Shelton was still married to his ex-wife Miranda Lambert.

"She had just had a baby [Apollo, with Rossdale], so there wasn't even much of a friendship that first season," Shelton says. "The thing I remember saying about her when people would ask was, 'Oh my God, that girl is unbelievable. She drives a minivan to work!" I thought rock stars drove Rolls-Royces, and Gwen was driving a black minivan."

It wasn't until a year later that their relationship turned romantic while they leaned on each other during their respective divorces. (Stefani announced her split from Rossdale in 2015 after 20 years together just weeks after Shelton and Lambert finalized their divorce following four years of marriage.) 

After five fun-filled years of dating, Shelton proposed to Stefani at his Tishomingo, Oklahoma, ranch last October.

"People still can't understand how this possibly happened," Shelton says. "Like, 'How can she possibly want to be with this guy? It has to have been like a mix up, right?'"

Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton
Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton
| Credit: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

It was no mix-up as Shelton and Stefani are currently planning their wedding. Though they're still ironing out the details, they did get an offer from former Voice coach Miley Cyrus to be their wedding singer.

"@gwenstefani @blakeshelton I'll be your wedding singer!" Cyrus wrote on Twitter last month. "I promise to be on my best behavior. Or worst. whatever you want! It's your special day! Cheers to loving you both almost as much as you love each other!"

As to whether they'll take Cyrus, 28, up on her offer, Shelton says, "Miley is one of the most talented singers I have ever met."

"She drives me crazy because she's a lot like Kelly [Clarkson] in the way that they can burst out with this voice," he says. "If I'm going to sing, I have to think about it and go warm up. It's unfair."

"Gwen was showing me that she even said, 'I promise to be on my best behavior,'" he adds. "I've known Miley long enough [for her to have to say], 'By the way, I'll be nice when I get here.' So that was nice of her. I don't know what we're going to do, but I still say Adam owes me a full-band performance with Maroon 5, mostly because I want it to cost him. I would rather have Miley as a human being."

Season 20 of The Voice premieres March 1 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

For all the details on The Voice's 10-year anniversary and new season, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.