GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Blake Shelton was in Gatlinburg on Wednesday night, celebrating the opening of his new restaurant, Ole Red, with fans and a little music.
Shelton and Ryman Hospitality Properties CEO Colin Reed presented a check worth $54,214 to a representative from Gatlinburg-Pittman High School to go towards the school's music programs. The funds were raised partly from a ticket auction to get a place at Shelton's private concert tonight.
"When I think of country music and where it started, I think of the mountains of East Tennessee," Shelton shared with press conference attendees. "I'm so proud to be here and I think this one may be my favorite location because the music is the focal point. The room is almost shaped like a speaker, I love it!"
The auction raised $29,214 and Ryman Hospitality donated $25,000.
"Part of our mission as a company is to find and foster the next generation of talent in country music," said Reed. "Much like we have done with Opry NextStage, we see Ole Red stages across the country as platforms for the next Blake Shelton."