Jay Allen is set to appear as a contestant on season 22 of The Voice, an opportunity he has been working toward for years.
He first announced the news in early September, just a few weeks ahead of the show’s premiere date, Monday (Sept. 19). In a recent post on social media, he shared a sneak peek of his audition with a caption that read, “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”
He went from spending all his time in a small town in Iowa, working on his family farm to living in Nashville and becoming a viral sensation.
Allen made the move to Music City in 2013, secured a publishing deal, and teamed with SONY/ATV. His fanbase grew exponentially in 2018 when a fan shared a video of him singing his ballad that was inspired by his mom, Sherry Rich, and her battle with Alzheimer’s. He titled the powerful song, “Blank Stares.” This performance warmed the hearts of so many people because it features his mom by his side. After it was posted on Facebook, it garnered over 500 million views.
The artist on the rise was already living in Nashville at the time when his father called to say things had gotten worse with his mom’s health. His parents drove 11 hours from Iowa to see him although it was a difficult time for Allen, it also reminded him of the power that music can have. The moment he witnessed music bring light back into his mom’s eyes, he was inspired to write “Blank Stares.” Unfortunately, his mom has since passed away.
“When she lost her battle, mine began…” he shared on Instagram.
As Jay Allen continues to honor his mom’s life and his journey on The Voice begins, here are five facts about the Iowa native.
Allen’s Love For Music Stems From His Upbringing
Country music is a big part of his life, but it’s not the only genre that holds a special place in his heart. His mom held a great love for country music. Allen remembers blasting country radio in the car and singing along with her on the way home from school. He gained an appreciation for rock ‘n’ roll from his dad who introduced him to some legends of the genre including AC/DC, Metallica, and Aerosmith. Since he spent a lot of time in church, Allen has also carried the music he heard in that setting with him into his present career.
He Works Closely With The Alzheimer’s Association
After losing his mom to Alzheimer’s, Allen has continued to be an advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association and has helped raise over $50 million in an effort to fight the disease. In 2019, he and his family were honored with the “Caregiver Award during the 32nd annual Alzheimer’s Association Chicago Rita Hayworth Gala.
Fellow Country Artist, Kylie Morgan Is Allen’s fiancé
Allen and Kylie Morgan met during a writing session years ago and instantly clicked. He took the next step when he popped the question in 2021 on their sixth anniversary of dating and she happily said yes. The public engagement took place in the midst of their set on the Whiskey Jam stage, a place they had both been to together many times before. They’re set to be married on Oct. 1, 2022.
Before Becoming A Country Artist, He Was A Worship Leader
Although he later realized it wasn’t his calling, Allen served as a worship leader at a megachurch in Savannah, GA. It was this experienced that gave him his start with Christian music and these influences still bleed into his music today.
He has a Holiday Song Titled, “Christmas Everyday”
Following his emotional tribute to his mom in “Blank Stares,” Allen dropped his first-ever Christmas song, “Christmas Everyday” in 2020. This festive single was written by Rodney Atkins and Rose Falcon who are also featured on the project. At the time they sat down to write this song together, Allen was opening for them on the road. These artists quickly formed a friendship.