“Blake and Kelly are extremely close,” the insider says, despite Blackstock’s role as Shelton’s longtime manager. “Their friendship and bond goes beyond the business.”
The Kelly Clarkson Show host, 39, met her soon-to-be ex-husband, 44, at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2006 while he was still married to Melissa Ashworth. At the time, Clarkson was being managed by Brandon’s father, Narvel Blackstock.
Shelton, for his part, was one of Brandon’s clients in addition to being Clarkson’s friend. The “God’s Country” singer, 45, even encouraged the entertainment manager to propose to the talk show host.
“I told Brandon, ‘Man, you need to grow up and you figure out that you need to marry this girl,’” the country crooner told Hollyscoop in 2012. “I am going on the record saying, I will do the music at the wedding or whatever you want to do, I’ll be that guy … cause you need to get your head out of your ass and ask that girl to marry you.”
However, now Brandon has all but quit the music industry, making it easier for Clarkson and Shelton to keep their sibling-style friendship afloat, the source tells Us.
“Brandon has no involvement with Blake’s management,” the insider says. “His full-time job is no longer in California.”
During February and March hearings related to Clarkson and Brandon’s divorce, he testified that he plans to leave the entertainment industry once and for all and become a full-time rancher.
According to court documents obtained by Us on Monday, August 9, the Texas native claimed that he spends “minimal time” managing his one remaining client, Shelton.
“The evidence in this case shows that after the date of Separation, Respondent made a very deliberate choice to change his life and become a rancher full-time,” the judge wrote in documents filed on Friday, August 6. “He testified that he is not devoting any effort toward expanding his client list and music management business. … Respondent has made a very deliberate choice, that he testified he planned for a long time, to significantly change his lifestyle from primarily working in the music and entertainment industry to working in an agriculture community and lifestyle involved in full-time ranch and cattle work.”
Brandon’s change in profession and continued ownership of his and Clarkson’s Montana ranch is one of the pair’s biggest points of contention amid their divorce battle.
The American Idol winner, who filed for divorce in June 2020, previously stated that she wanted to sell the property because it was a “financial burden,” but her ex wants to keep it and run his rodeo management career from the estate.
The court, however, denied the “Miss Independent” singer’s request to sell the ranch, which costs $81,000 per month to maintain, as Brandon currently lives and works on site. Brandon has requested an order to include that he will pay the maintenance costs since he does reside on the property. Failure to pay the costs will result in Clarkson being able to file another motion to sell the ranch.
Us confirmed last month that the musician was ordered to pay the talent manager nearly $200,000 per month starting in April, with a source telling Us the agreement was temporary as the couple have yet to reach a “formal settlement.”
The current agreement includes $150,000 per month for spousal support with an additional $45,601 per month in child support for the pair’s daughter River, 7, and son Remington, 5.
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