WATCH: Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani Fight For Jay Allen Following Cody Johnson Cover On ‘The Voice’
Rising country singer Jay Allen has been living in Nashville for ten years honing in on his craft, and now,…
Blake Shelton, Jay Allen, Gwen Stefani; Photos by NBC, The Voice
Rising country singer Jay Allen has been living in Nashville for ten years honing in on his craft, and now, thanks to The Voice, Allen gained national attention following his blind audition.
Prior to taking the stage, the 36-year-old shared an emotional story about his late mother.
“I am moments away from my blind audition and I truly wish that my mom was here to see this. She’s not, but I know she’s with me, I feel her in my heart. I’m just going to go out there and make her proud,” he somberly shared.
Allen went on to detail his emotional connection to music and share a life-altering story about his mom, who passed away in 2019 after being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
“My mother would pick me up every day after school and she would crank up the local Country radio station and roll down the windows and we would sing at the top of our lungs and laugh all the way back home,” he recalled.
“My favorite memory of my mom… One moment I remember very vividly was when we went out to a very well-known saloon in Nashville. My mother took one step inside and she saw the band and heard the music and she suddenly was present. She started trying to talk and dance and smile. So, I grabbed her by the hand and we started slow dancing to a fast song. She leaned in and said ‘Jay I’ve missed you so much. I love you so much son’ and I was like, ‘woah’. I have always heard about the power of music, I just didn’t really understand what it was until this moment.”
His father, who accompanied him to his audition alongside his fiancée, fellow country singer Kylie Morgan, shared, “I’m sure Jay’s mom is very proud of him. She knew when Jay first started music that he was going to make it big, so, I’m sure she’s looking down on him and just loving every minute of it.”
Allen promised to do his best in honor of his mom.
“Tonight, this is everything I’ve worked for and prayed for and my mom will be in my heart the entire time. I think I’ll look out in the crowd and probably see her.”
He took the stage to perform Cody Johnson’s multi-week No.1 hit, “‘Til You Can’t.” The performance showcased his powerful vocals and stage presence and earned chair turns from coaches Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton.
A full-on battle ensued between the lovebirds as they tried to convince Allen to join their respective teams.
“I knew you were going to do that, you’re killing me,” Shelton shouted at Stefani before Allen said, “The husband and wife duo turned around.”
“The delivery of that lyric is such a conversational song in order to stay on pitch and get through the lyrics and then hit those powerful moments man that’s tough and you sounded great doing it,” Shelton said. ”I love your tone, I love your approach. I didn’t expect to turn around and see a UFC fighter singing it, but that’s even cooler man.”
While she didn’t turn her chair, Camila Cabello shared, “I loved your voice on the verse. I felt like you delivered it in a way that felt really honest then the chorus. I felt like when you go for those big notes it can sometimes get a little bit yelly. I thought it was awesome.”
It was then time for Stefani to sell Allen on Team Gwen.
“Blake, he’s taught me so much about country music, and I got to be on two No. 1 country hits with Blake Shelton, which was just the most incredible experience of my life,” Gwen shared. “It made me so joyful to recognize that song when it came in, and to hear your voice on it, it was so beautiful and the chorus I thought it sounded really good. It was a really good performance and I would love to coach you. I know music, I’ve toured the world, and I know how to do this show, And it’s kind of a two-for-one, because I’ll just ask him if I have questions. Anyways, I thought you did a great job and I would love to coach you if you want to be over here on team Gwen.”
While chatting with Shelton, Allen explained that his classic rock influences play a role in his artistry.
“Within Country music, there’s a lot of different lanes. Do you put yourself in more of the outlaw category?” Shelton asked, to which Allen replied, “my Pops introduced me to all the classic legends and my mother listened to Country music. I love alternative rock. I’d love to do like Chris Daughtry meets Blake Shelton.”
John Legend then asked Allen about his song choice.
“I relate to it because when my mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s when she was 51, she passed away in 2019 at age 54,” Allen shared of the inspiring Cody Johnson hit.
He then revealed that he previously wrote a song about his experience with his mom and the disease.
“I’m proud to say that song that I wrote has now raised close to $50 million dollars to fight against Alzheimer’s,” Allen explained.
“I’m crying, tears, chills, like everything,” Stefani said before Legend asked him to perform a snippet of the song, “Blank Stares.”
“Beautiful, Jay I’m just so impressed by you and the way you use music to tell your story. I think it’s so powerful and we’re so fortunate to have you on the show, so thank you for being here bro,” Legend added. “You’ve got to pick between these two lovely people who happen to be married to each other. Please tell us who you’d like to be your coach.”
“Blake, I’m a giant fan and I respect you so much, but I have to choose your wife,” Allen said, ultimately choosing to join Team Gwen.
“It’s a rough day to be Blake Shelton,” Legend joked.
“Listen, Jay Allen picked me, did you see that? That was insane. He had a rock side to him. He’s a songwriter, he’s mourning his mother and people like that, music swims inside their heart. So, It’s going to be fun to get to know him.”
“This will be in the tabloids,” Shelton joked.
“Blake and Gwen are married now, he’s been weakened by love,” Legend joked. “Hahaha, it’s our chance to destroy him.”
The longtime The Voice coach wasn’t happy.
“I don’t know what’s going on around here, but it’s not good for me. I used to be the Country king on The Voice. It’s not slowly slipping away, it’s gone and I’m sick of it,” Shelton quipped.
NBC’s The Voice Season 22 premiered on Monday, Sept. 19.
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.