24-Year-Old Kristen Brown Catches Gwen Stefani and Reba McEntire’s Attention With Carrie Underwood Cover On ‘The Voice’

Did she join Team Gwen or Team Reba?


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

September 25, 2023


9:48 pm

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Kristen Brown; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Kristen Brown performed a soaring cover of Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” during The Voice Blind Auditions on the Season 24 premiere of NBC’s The Voice on Monday evening (Sept. 25). 

The California native first had the opportunity to introduce herself, revealing that she was originally a member of a country group called Auburn Road. The all-girl trio had the opportunity to open for artists such as Toby Keith and Morgan Wallen, however, in 2021, Brown decided to leave the group to pursue a solo career. 

Previously A Member Of Trio Auburn Road

Now a solo artist, Brown oversees all aspects of her career, from songwriting to producing. She also manages her own career. 

Kristen Brown; Photo by: Dave Bjerke/NBC
Kristen Brown; Photo by: Dave Bjerke/NBC

The 24-year-old is a longtime country music fan and considers herself to be a country artist with an “edge” to her music. 

Carrie Underwood Cover

When it was time for her to step onto The Voice stage for her blind audition, Brown chose to sing Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away.” The song is the title track off Underwood’s fourth studio album and climbed to the top of the country airplay charts following its release to country radio in 2012. 

This performance allowed Kristen Brown to showcase her vocal range as she drew listeners in with the song’s powerful narrative. With her vocal abilities and stage presence, it quickly became clear that Brown was an early standout contestant in the competition.     


YouTube video

Her performance earned a two-chair turn, prompting both Gwen Stefani and Reba McEntire to turn their big red chairs for her. 

Two-Chair Turn

“I thought your performance was lovely. I especially love the second half. You’re very fortunate to have these two ladies fighting over you,” John Legend, who did not turn his chair, admitted.

McEntire was a fan of the performance and declared that she did the song justice. 

“I’m Reba. Carrie Underwood, [is] a buddy of mine, love the song and you did it justice,” McEntire pointed out. “Thank you. I was very taken with your performance. I did notice a little, few pitchy things, but your enthusiasm was wonderful. Now, in my career I’ve had a lot of mentors, so I am very full aware of what you want to hear, what you need to hear, and I would love to be your coach and help you out to win this competition.”

Kristen Brown; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC
Kristen Brown; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Stefani knew she was up against Reba McEntire and did her best to convince the country hopeful to join Team Gwen. 

“This is really difficult because Reba is the queen, so it’s hard to fight against her, but I’m going to fight her right now,” she confessed. 

“Not trying to brag, but I did have… Lemme just do the stats. It’s a safe space,” Stefani continued, before boasting, ”I’ve had two number one country hits on country radio riding the coattails of Blake Shelton, so I’m very proud. But no, honestly, I really did love your performance. I thought you have a really interesting tone. You’re like a diamond in the rough. The thing is, is that everything that I try to pitch, she has done it as well, but 10 times more.”

Legend then chimed in to help Stefani’s pitch, saying “she has not won The Voice.”

Reba McEntire; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC
Reba McEntire; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

Stefani then concluded, “To be able to share with you everything that I’ve ever learned. It’s my dream. I’ve done all of the stuff that you want to do. I want to mother you. Okay?”

McEntire then joked, “You are right. I have not won a season of The Voice… yet, so we can make music together so I rest to my case.”

Team Gwen

Ultimately, to much surprise, Brown chose to join Team Gwen. 

“I’m really excited to have a country girl on my team. I just kept fighting and she picked me,” Stefani exclaimed.

Season 24 Underway

This blind audition aired during the official kick-off of Season 24 of The Voice, ushering in the new star-studded panel of coaches, which includes Niall Horan, John Legend, Reba McEntire and Gwen Stefani. 

Niall Horan returns for his second consecutive season, alongside Gwen Stefani and John Legend, both of whom have made their comebacks to The Voice following a brief hiatus. 

Meanwhile, Reba McEntire is making her debut as a coach on The Voicereplacing Blake Shelton, who announced his decision to step down from the singing competition earlier this year. Shelton appeared on The Voice for a total of 23 Seasons and holds the title of the longest and winningest coach in the history of the show with nine wins.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.