Viewers of NBC’s The Voice have been introduced to loads of talented artists since the show’s inception back in 2011. And, some of those artists, whether they won the show or not, have gone on to make careers in country music, releasing hit songs, touring across the country, growing their fan base, and reaching milestones they might never have thought were even possible.
Of course, the show has helped launch careers for already well-known faces in country music like Billy Gilman, RaeLynn, Danielle Bradbery, and Cassadee Pope, but it may come as a surprise to find out the names of some up-and-comers and superstar who got their start on the reality competition show.
Below are eight country artists that you maybe didn’t know appeared on The Voice.
Fans have gotten to know Craft’s gritty, soulful voice on country songs like “Two Wildflowers and a Box of Wine” and “Trainwreck.” But most remember the country spitfire from her experience on Season 13 of NBC’s The Voice when her then-coach Miley Cyrus called her a ‘rock ‘n’ roll Dolly [Parton].’ After exiting the show due to losing an Instant Save Vote, Craft moved from her hometown of Piedmont, South Carolina, to Nashville, where she independently released songs “Good ‘Ol Girls,” “Your Place or Mine,” and “They Always Do” before signing a deal with Big Loud Records.
In the last 12 months, Marlowe has not only secured a management deal with The AMG, but he has also landed a recording contract with Sony Music Nashville’s Columbia Records. In February of 2021, he released his catchy breakup single, “Sober as a Drunk,” which appears on his 2020 self-titled debut EP. But, perhaps none of those milestones ever would’ve happened had it not been for his stint on Season 15’s The Voice, which saw him making it into the Top 24 after being recruited to audition for the show. Even though Marlowe didn’t win his season of the reality competition series, he did meet several songwriters and other musicians who taught him the ins and outs of the music business and encouraged him to move to Nashville to pursue his dreams of being a singer/songwriter – a move he will likely never forget.
Jannakos has found plenty of success on social media thanks in part to his now-wife, Katie, who posted a video on the popular video-sharing platform TikTok of him teasing his breakout single, “Gone Too Soon,” while in the kitchen. But before going viral, the Georgian, who now boasts nearly 800k followers on TikTok, competed on Team Adam Levine on Season 16’s The Voice. After his elimination on the show, Jannakos continued to work on his craft and signed a major label record deal with Sony Music Nashville’s RCA Nashville imprint. He commercially released “Gone Too Soon,” which earned him a No. 1 debut on Billboard’s Emerging Artist Chart and later followed that up with his current single, “Wine Country.”
Despite the controversy surrounding Wallen’s use of the N-word in a video that went viral in early February, his music sales have continued to climb. Although he was dropped from country radio and streaming services and indefinitely suspended from his record label following the incident. Wallen’s album, Dangerous: The Double Album, spent a record-breaking ten consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. But what may come as another surprise to some folks is Wallen once competed on Season 6 of The Voice. He auditioned for the show with Howie Days “Collide,” earning a two chair turn from then-coaches Usher and Shakira. After finding a spot on Team Usher and later competing on Team Adam, the East Tennessee native got eliminated. Of course, his run on the show only opened up doors for him, as he quickly signed onto Panacea Records before teaming up with Big Loud Records, and releasing his debut album, If I Know Me, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.
Galyon may not be a familiar name to some folks, but she is highly respected in Nashville’s prestigious songwriting circles, having written hit songs for artists like Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney. She is a household name in other areas behind the scenes in country music too. In 2019, Galyon partnered with Big Loud Records to launch the female-focused record label, Songs & Daughters, and eventually expanded the company to include a publishing arm. Galyon found her success through The Voice, competing on Season 2 as a contestant on Team Adam. Although her run on the reality sing-off show was short-lived, she became friends with fellow contender RaeLynn, which led her to co-write and co-produce the singer’s debut album, WildHorse.
The singer/songwriter racked up a No. 1 hit when she teamed up with Blake Shelton on “My Eyes.” But fans may have recognized her most on Miranda Lambert’s previous tours. Sebastian accompanied the Texan-born superstar on the road on treks like 2018’s Livin’ Like Hippies Tour and 2013’s the ‘Locked and Re-loaded’ tour. She also has songwriting credits and provided backing vocals on Lambert’s albums including, Platinum and The Weight of These Wings. Sebastian landed her gig as a mainstay on Lambert’s tour after her stint on Season 2’s The Voice, where she auditioned at age 37 with Sugarland’s hit song, “Stay.” Sebastian lost out in the Battle Rounds on The Voice when she faced off against Erin Willett singing “We Belong” by Pat Benatar. Before The Voice, Sebastian was signed with Lofton Creek Records and released two singles for the label. In April 2020, she digitally released her Once Upon a Time in the West ACT II -EP.
Joy experienced success with her sophomore EP, The Bright Side, which reached the Top 20 on the iTunes Country Albums chart. And despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Missouri-born singer has no intention of slowing down. On March 19, she dropped her current single, “The Money,” sharing a message that people should never be too concerned about money. And although Joy has been forging a career on her own, it was Season 12’s The Voice that initially served as a launching pad for her success. The rising artist was a fan-favorite on the show, earning a chair turn from all of the judges with her stunning performance of “Blue” by LeAnn Rimes. She got eliminated from the show during the live playoff rounds, which saw her performing Chris Stapleton’s song “Parachute.”
The young, emerging artist started putting out songs at the beginning of 2020. And on March 26, 2021, she released her debut EP, Everybody’s Got A Story, via her independent label, Country Sweetheart. The seven-track project includes songs like the title track and “Just Like The Circus,” which features writing credits by acclaimed songwriters Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally, and Brandy Clark. Shepherd has attributed much of her success to Kelly Clarkson, who mentored her on Season 15’s The Voice. Clarkson was doing something right when she decided to coach Shepherd because the talented singer, who hails from Farmington, New Mexico, was just 16-years old when she was named the winner of her season.