The musical segment marks Wheeler’s first TV appearance since making waves on season 20 of NBC’s The Voice. The Florida native opened up about his rapid rise to fame, how his life drastically changed since leaving the syndicated singing competition, and what it was like to learn from his coach, powerful vocalist Kelly Clarkson.
“I’ve been places and people stop me a lot, like in Publix the other day or I was in Outback [Steakhouse] last night eating and people wanted to take pictures and stuff and you know they just recognize me,” shares the breakthrough country star about adjusting to his new normal.
“I think it’s really cool, it’s awesome ‘cause all the support from home and everything, I wasn’t expecting to have all that when I was on the show, and it was really awesome to have that support from Plant City and Dover and everywhere around Florida and all America too,” he added.
Music-goers fell head-over-heels for Wheelers traditional country sound, as he left America speechless with his take on Brooks & Dunn’s hit track “Red Dirt Road,” Luke Combs’ “Beer Never Broke My Heart” Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ in the Dark,” “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by legend George Jones, and even received the iconic four-chair turn with his chilling cover of Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes” during the blind auditions.
It’s not just his Billy Ray Cyrus-inspired mullet that captured the attention of country fanatics, but it is his unique twang that placed his name on several music radars nationwide. In fact, his coach, Kelly Clarkson, deemed him a “country music superstar” and predicted that he would sell out stadiums in no time.
I can't put into words how proud of you I am @KenzieWheeler!! It was an honor to be your coach and sing with you at the finale. This is just the beginning for you! #TeamKelly #TheVoice https://t.co/iyNUebBYf1
— Kelly Clarkson (@kellyclarkson) June 1, 2021
“It was really great getting to work with Kelly,” Wheeler previously told Country Now in an exclusive interview. “The best advice that she gave me would have been to believe in yourself and to never give up on your dreams.”
In the recent television appearance with WFLA, Wheeler put Clarkson’s advice to the test and performed an original track titled “Got Her Goodbye On.” With ease, Wheeler showcased his mid-tempo ballad from his 2018 debut record.
“She’s got the top dropped down / her heart wide open / Ray-Bans on and her long hair blowing / chasing something, somewhere, taking the long way / she’s got the rearview ripped off / singing every word to ‘Take It Easy’ / feelin’ strong, getting gone, livin’ that song / And girl’s Got Her Goodbye On,” sings Wheeler in the chorus.
To keep the positive momentum going, the artist will be taking center stage at the Dallas Bull in Tampa, Florida, on August 27. Tickets to see Wheeler bring the heat in his hometown are now available, here.