While the aspiring singing stars who compete on TV talent shows all hope to score record deals at the end of their respective seasons, recent history has proven that winning a major-label contract is no guarantee of anything. Some reality champs actually go on to sell very few albums, sadly, while some non-winners go on to become platinum-selling superstars. And then some other contestants go the totally independent route, and they end up doing quite all right for themselves.
Fundraising websites like Kickstarter and PledgeMusic have helped various reality-competition veterans capitalize on their newfound TV fame and successfully launch their own indie projects--including "American Idol's" Chris Sligh, Megan Joy, Anoop Desai, Tim Halperin, and Michael Castro; "Rock Star: Supernova's" Lukas Rossi and Dilana; and "Nashville Star's" Whitney Duncan. Season 2 "Voice" contestants Jordis Unga, the Shields Brothers, and Jamie Lono all recently completed wildly successful Kickstarter campaigns to fund their upcoming albums, and several more "Voice" stars just launched new campaigns to make their own music without label support (or label intervention).
Want to help their worthy causes? Well, put down your remote and pick up your mouse, and click on their campaigns below.
Nakia - An original Red Zone renegade, this Team Cee Lo blues belter from Season 1 of "The Voice" is currently raising money via PledgeMusic to record his next album. Donate $10 or more to his campaign, and you'll get all sorts of bonus HQ music and exclusive audio goodies. Do it!
Tony Vincent - The grand theatrical showman of "The Voice" Season 2 is back and working on a new EP, In My Head, which I am sure will be totally brash and brilliant. Want to help fund it? Check out his PledgeMusic campaign--you can even bid on some of his personal collectible possessions from his pre-"Voice" theater stints in We Will Rock You and American Idiot.
Pip - If popular Pip hadn't been sent home during the controversial "instant elimination" rounds by Adam Levine, he could have possibly won "The Voice." Still mad about his early exit? Well, you can right that wrong by donating to his Kickstarter campaign. Pledge $500 or more and he will either make a personalized YouTube video for you singing the song of your choice, or he will literally give you the suspenders off his back! Pledge $750, and you will get PIP'S ACTUAL BOW-TIE! Gasp!
Charlotte Sometimes - Before going on "The Voice" this year, Charlotte was signed to Geffen Records. Now she's an independent woman--preparing to release her next album, Circus Head, on her own and with no middleman, via her just-launched PledgeMusic campaign.
Jordan Rager - Team Blake's Season 2 country boy also needs money to record his first CD. Pony up enough dough to his Kickstarter campaign, and he'll play a private acoustic show for you and 20 of your friends, anywhere within 400 mile radius of Loganville, Georgia.
Naia Kete - Blake Shelton's earth-mama street busker is currently working on her first EP. If you kick in some cash to her Kickstarter campaign, you'll be eligible for incentives like free digital downloads, T-shirts, your name in her liner notes, and even dinner with Naia herself.
Nathan Parrett - Pip's Battle Rounds partner isn't looking to fund his own album; instead, he wants to bring Spring Awakening back to Los Angeles via Kickstarter. Pledge $75 and snag a bottle of custom Spring Awakening wine; pledge $500, and the cast will actually take you out to a "hipster bar" for drinks! I'll raise my glass to that.
- Tony Vincent dishes on "The Voice"
- Nakia dishes on "The Voice"
- Jamie Lono performs at Yahoo! Music
- The Shields Brothers perform at Yahoo! Music