‘The Voice’ Contestant Donny Van Slee Spotted Busking In Nashville

Team Reba’s Donny Van Slee was playing for tips in Music City.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 28, 2024


1:26 pm

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Photo Courtesy Donny Van Slee/ Instagram

Fans of The Voice who happened to be visiting Nashville’s Parthenon on Memorial Day may have noticed a familiar face singing for tips: Donny Van Slee. 

On Monday, the Team Reba contestant visited the popular Music City tourist destination and was busking in front of the giant Parthenon replica in the middle of Centennial Park. 

Van Slee brought along an intricate setup, including a tent for shade, and a sign that read “As Seen On The Voice – Team Reba S25.” 

The singer, who also happens to be a chiropractor, documented his Memorial Day busking adventure on Instagram and was all smiles while posing for photos. According to his official TikTok account, it appears Van Slee frequently plays music at this particular location. In April, he shared a performance video of his new single,  “Shinin’,” from the same spot.   

Van Slee caught Reba McEntire’s attention during his The Voice blind audition where he performed a cover of  LANCO’s “Greatest Love Story.” The country music icon pushed her button to turn her chair after just 14 seconds into the performance and used her only block to stop Dan + Shay from attempting to sway him to join their team. 

“I love your voice. I love the little raspiness, and when I heard you, my first thought was ‘Block them!’” because I knew they were gonna go for it so quick,” McEntire shared. 

Donny Van Slee; Photo by Casey Durkin/NBC
Donny Van Slee; Photo by Casey Durkin/NBC

Van Slee advanced to the Battles as part of Team Reba where he was tasked to go head-to-head against Josh Sanders with a performance of the Luke Combs hit, “When It Rains It Pours.” Both contestants delivered standout performances, but only one could move forward in the competition. It was up to Reba to decide who would move on. 

“I feel like I’ve known you forever. When we got to be in the rehearsal, I just felt like we bonded and that was really, really special to me,” the Country Music Hall of Famer said with tears building up in her eyes. “This is going to be a tough decision. Donny, your performance was cute as a button. It was fun. I enjoyed watching you and your choreography was spot on. I don’t know who came up with that, but you did a really good job. Josh, your runs, when you hit the high notes, everything was perfect. Whatever you got from this song, ‘When It Rains, It Pours,’ it worked for you. Way to go on that.” 

YouTube video

Ultimately, she decided that Josh won the battle. 

“Love You, buddy. That was so hard,” she later added. “Donny is a huge talent. It just flows out of him on stage, but I chose Josh because vocally, Josh just stepped up to the plate. I think America’s going to fall in love with Josh.”

After his time on the show, Van Slee reflected on the experience and the friendships he made along the way in a heartfelt Instagram post. 

“What you see on TV is about 5% of what actual goes on. I truly cant even begin to explain how amazing of an experience it was to be apart of this show, “ he wrote. “The best part of it all was how close we all became jamming by the pool, in the hallways, and in our rooms. I love you guys from the bottom of my heart and so excited to watch everyone’s careers unfold. The crazy part of it all was that I didn’t try out for the show, I got a random email one day that I thought was a scam asking me to send in a couple videos. I never thought in a million years I’d be apart of something so special like this. I’m truly so grateful.” 

Donny Van Slee is a native of Florida but currently resides in Nashville while pursuing his country music career.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

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.