Dolly Parton’s Voice Dazzles a 16-Year-Old Kelly Clarkson’s Soulful Serenade Will Be the Season’s Winner
Chevel Shepherd, 16, was born and raised in the small town of Farmington, New Mexico. Although she is only 4’10”, this petite teen has a larger-than-life voice. Her blind audition for Season 15 of The Voice shocked everyone by introducing her to the world for the first time.
Chevel’s blind audition song was a 2010 hit by “The Band Perry.” Chevel’s voice is visibly shaking due to nerves as she begins, but it’s clear that there is talent hidden there. Kelly Clarkson, the coach, was the first to notice this. Kelly slams her button and turns her chair within a few lines of the song.
As Chevel’s naturally raspy voice develops, judge Blake Shelton decides he, too, wants to be a part of this talent. The final two judges sit in their chairs, pondering their decisions, as the petite powerhouse gains confidence, her voice filling the auditorium. Jennifer Hudson was the next judge to turn her chair for Chevel, leaving judge Adam Levine as the only one who did not.
Chevel’s audition performance left the judges stunned and clearly impressed. Chevel was clearly nervous at first, according to Kelly Clarkson, who said, “You were in your head a lot…but I would love to work with you.” She even complimented her and compared her voice to Dolly Parton’s.
Chevel was also praised by the remaining judges. Jennifer Hudson described her voice as “pure and beautiful,” and Blake predicted, “There’s going to be a lot of growth for you on this show…” Was he ever correct! Chevel’s voice grew stronger and stronger each week as she gained experience and confidence.
Following some friendly competition between Blake and Kelly as they try to persuade Chevel to join their team, she unexpectedly chooses Kelly as her mentor. Kelly Clarkson was the ideal mentor for Chevel, who went on to win the season finale on December 19.
What an adventure this dynamic teen has already had. Chevel said of her time on The Voice shortly after winning, “It’s been crazy just getting the opportunity.” Not many teenagers, not many 16-year-olds, get to stand on The Voice stage and sing on national television for the rest of the world while being mentored by Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, and Thomas Rhett. It’s just been incredible and life-changing.”