Kenzie Wheeler Proves He’s ‘Pure Country’ with George Strait Cover on ‘The Voice’ Finale
Kenzie Wheeler transported fans back in time to the early 1990s with a cover of George Strait’s “Heartland” on The…
Kenzie Wheeler; Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC
Kenzie Wheeler transported fans back in time to the early 1990s with a cover of George Strait’s “Heartland” on The Voice finale on Monday evening (May 24).
The 23-year-old Florida native performed Strait’s 1993 hit, “Heartland.” As a longtime George Strait fan, Wheeler said he’s wanted to perform a song from the country legend while on the show and now was his time.
“I didn’t expect to make it this far. I’m just thankful and blessed for sure,” Wheeler said, adding, “Having this opportunity knowing that I could possibly win this and have a record deal, it’s pretty insane.”
Coach Kelly Clarkson shared her excitement over his song choice prior to his performance, telling him, “This whole performance is about energy and vibes…I want everybody to feel like they just went to a honkytonk.”
She later continued, “Kenzie Wheeler, he just sounds like a country superstar” and told him he would one day be playing stadiums.
— The Voice (@NBCTheVoice) May 25, 2021
Wheeler showcased a new side of himself on stage with his “Heartland” performance as he really let loose and had fun while he was on stage.
He once again impressed Blake Shelton, who has been a fan of Wheeler since the stage.
“I thought that was really good, the modulation in the middle was unexpected,” Shelton told him. “Dusty had the mullet in the beginning of that movie. That song is from Pure Country, which George Strait was in. You sounded great and I’m glad you are teaching Kelly some country music.”
“It reminds everybody again, we all miss live music,” Clarkson added. “I want to go to the bar. Thank you for the inspiration. I love your voice, I can’t say it enough.”
Kenzie Wheeler has covered several country songs throughout the season, including Brooks & Dunn’s “Red Dirt Road,” Luke Combs’ “Beer Never Broke My Heart” and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ in the Dark,” and George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
Fans can vote for Kenzie Wheeler on the official The Voice website.
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.