'The Voice' may never find its Carrie Underwood!
One of the major complaints about The Voice is that it has yet to launch a major recording career like American Idol did in its early days. But host Carson Daly says that the days of discovering a Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson on a TV show are long gone.
“Your measuring stick is antiquated because of the way that technology has proliferated,” Daly exclusively tells Parade.com. “For instance, I could never do TRL [his Total Request Live show] again because this generation has the internet and doesn’t need MTV to get music. There are a lot of YouTubers, and my kids listen to music of people that you have never heard of, that I have never heard of. For some people, just getting to a place where they can support themselves making music, thanks to The Voice—that’s winning.”
And The Voice has several of those types of winners. Former contestants, including a couple of Grammy nominees, who are grateful to the show because their lives changed 100 percent, because as a result of appearing on The Voice, they now make their entire living making music, rather than having to have a day job to pay the bills.
Most Successful Voice Competitors
Koryn Hawthorne (season 8)
was a member of Pharrell Williams’ team and finished fourth in her season. She has gone on to have a successful gospel career and was nominated twice for Grammys in the Gospel Performance/Song category: in 2019 for “Won’t He Do It” and in 2020 for “Speak the Name.”
Nicolle Galyon (season 2)
got just one coach to turn (Adam Levine) when she sang “You Save Me” during her Blind Audition. The country singer was eliminated during the Battle Rounds but made a discovery along the way: She didn’t want to sing, she wanted to write songs. While on the show, she met performers RaeLynn and Miranda Lambert (who was married to Blake Shelton at the time) and credits those friendships for launching her songwriting career. She earned her first No. 1 song with “We Were Us,” performed by Keith Urban and Lambert. She also has co-written songs for Lady A, Kenny Chesney, Florida Georgia Line and many others and co-wrote and co-produced RaeLynn’s first full-length album, WildHorse. Gaylon has two Grammy nominations for Best Country Song: in 2015 for Miranda Lambert’s “Automatic” and in 2019 for Dan + Shay’s “Tequila.”
Cassadee Pope (season 3)
was the first female country singer to win The Voice. The former member of Blake Shelton's team has gone on to find success in country music, but a high point was when she and Chris Young received a Grammy nomination for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Think of You” in 2017. Her single "Tomorrow Night" was released in Sept. and was followed by her third album, Thrive, in October.
Danielle Bradbery (season 4 winner)
was only 16 when she won The Voice, the youngest winner at that point in time but no longer the record. Since graduating from Team Blake Shelton, Bradbery has gone on to have a successful country music career with 15 songs on the Hot Country chart, including "Goodbye Summer" with Thomas Rhett which rose to No. 39 in 2018. Her 2020 single "Never Have I Ever" reached No. 58 on U.S. Country Airplay, and her most-streamed song, "Sway," has 50 million streams. In July 2021, she released her latest single, "Stop Draggin' Your Boots."
Morgan Wallen (season 6)
who was initially on Team Usher, but later stolen by Adam Levine, was eliminated in the Playoffs but soon headed to Nashville to try his hand at country music, rather than the pop songs he sang on the show. He had almost instant success, dropping four No. 1 singles, winning the CMA award for New Artist of the Year and releasing the double album Dangerous. “He was being hailed as the next big thing, maybe the next big crossover artist from country,” executive producer Audrey Morrissey says. Today, Wallen is more famous for getting in trouble. He got booted off of Saturday Night Live for breaking COVID-19 protocols in late 2020 and was banned from country radio after he was caught on video hollering a racial slur in February 2021.
Jordan Smith (season 9)
was a four-chair turn who chose Team Adam. He went on to write “Ashes” for the Deadpool 2 soundtrack, which was performed by Celine Dion. In addition, he's had three No. 1 songs on the Hot Christian Songs chart and three top 10s. His most recent single, "Be Still and Know," was released this past summer.
Sawyer Fredericks (season 8)
The winner from Team Pharrell had an original song, “Silent World,” featured on the season six debut of the Netflix original series Longmire, which aired in 2017, and his song “This Fire” was covered by John Ondrasik for a 2018 episode of Code Black.