Imperial Sugar Sure Is Sweet On Blake Shelton, Houston's Reginald Adams

Rocks Off has made no secret that we're not the biggest Blake Shelton fan who ever lived. He knows that. So it's not like we lie awake at night wondering what he's going to do next.

Still, we didn't expect this. Houston artist Reginald Adams, founder of the Museum of Cultural Arts and a 2010 Houston Press MasterMinds honoree, has been commissioned to create a 30" by 30" portrait of the country star and The Voice judge entirely out of the Imperial Sugar Company product Shelton name-checks in a recent No. 2 country hit.

In the song "Boys Round Here," Shelton gives a shoutout to ISC's Dixie Crystals in the line, "Well the girls 'round here, they all deserve a whistle/ Shakin' that sugar sweet as Dixie Crystals." The press release sent round here (from the firm retained by Imperial) says Shelton's mention of the product "catapulted Dixie Crystals to a hot trending topic on a multitude of social media platforms."

Country music these days, we swear. (By the way, Tompall Glaser, the performer arguably best known for his appeareance alongside Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Jessi Colter on the first-ever country album to go platinum, 1976's Wanted: The Outlaws, passed away earlier today. We'll bring you a more complete appreciation of this talented man Wednesday morning.)

"We know Blake received it but I haven't heard his reaction," says publicist Bettie de Bruhl.

Through MOCAH, Adams has spearheaded dozens of public art projects around the Houston area, including "Fruits of the Fifth Ward," a 2012 Best of Houston winner for "Best Wall Art," and Montrose mosaic mural "This Is Houston." The release says Adams took 30 hours to create the Shelton portrait, using five different kinds of crystals - granulated, powdered, light brown, dark brown and turbinado - as well as incorporating the product's packaging into the frame. (See a time-lapse video of the process above.)

Based in Houston (and namesake of Sugar Land, more or less), ISC is a subsidiary of Louis Dreyfus Commodities and has been manufacturing Dixie Crystals since 1917. According to the company's marketing manager Hyuna Lee, "Being known for his sense of humor, we thought [Shelton], of all people, would get a kick out of seeing himself replicated entirely out of Dixie Crystals sugar."

Hmmm. Shelton certainly didn't seem to find our review of his most recent Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo appearance all that funny. But no hard feelings. Considering the refrain of "Boys Round Here," we're just glad Adams wasn't commissioned to fashion the singer's likeness out of chewing tobacco instead.


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Adams wasn't commissioned to fashion the singer's likeness out of chewing tobacco.

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