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Brother’s Traumatic Death Still Haunts Blake Shelton

Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire / Getty Images

In 1990, Blake Shelton lost one of the most influential people in his life – now, he continues to remember the man who he once looked up to.

When Shelton was only 14, his older brother, Richie, tragically passed in a car accident. The unexpected death is something Shelton still remembers and doesn’t believe he will ever get over.

He recently opened up to Cowboys & Indians, saying, “Look, you’re never gonna get over it. For me, my brother was my big brother. I mean, I wanted to be him. I wanted to look like him, dress like him, listen to what he listened to, and be into the things he was into. So when he was killed in a car accident, it was literally like the world went silent. There was a void in my world all of a sudden, and I’m still not over it. I’m just used to it.”

Losing someone special is never easy, and very rarely do people ever get over the pain that comes along with it. Shelton made a public statement just last year about his brother on Twitter saying, “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!!”

Shelton’s devastating loss at such a young age inspired him to write “Over You” with his then-wife, Miranda Lambert in 2011. The song truly strikes a cord with lyrics like “Your favorite records make me feel better / ‘Cause you sing along with every song / I know you didn’t mean to give them to me.

Shelton admitted to The Associated Press that those lyrics were direct reflections of the loss of Richie saying, “That’s one of the things I got when my brother was killed. The family gave me all his albums and things like that. I just listened to them over and over again to feel like he was there.”

Lambert originally recorded the song because Shelton didn’t think he would be able to get through singing it. But he put all his emotions on the line in 2013 at a concert in Charleston when he performed the song, saying, “I think it has been enough time now.”

Watch Shelton’s heartfelt tribute to his brother below.