‘The Voice’ winner Danielle Bradbery bringing ‘Heart of Dixie’ to ToledoWritten by John Benson | | firstname.lastname@example.org
To say Danielle Bradbery was a long shot to win season four of “The Voice” is an understatement.
The shy teenage singer, without any vocal lessons or stage experience, not only turned the chairs of judges Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Usher last spring but also wowed audiences.
Despite feeling overwhelmed at first, there was a moment when the Texas native discovered her self-confidence and never looked back.
“I was so scared, I went into it not really knowing at all what was going to happen,” said Bradbery, calling from Nashville, Tenn. “I was just waiting for something to happen. It was amazing. I think throughout the whole thing there were big steps every time I stepped on ‘The Voice’ stage.
“The live shows were kind of when I started to see a lot of difference in myself. A lot of things I did I thought I couldn’t do. I learned a lot about myself at that point. The things that I could do were really surprising.”
Invariably, the past year for Bradbery has been one surprise after another. Not only was she the youngest person every to win “The Voice,” but her self-titled debut album featured the Top 20 lead single, “The Heart of Dixie,” which has sold more than 360,000 downloads.
She toured last summer with Shelton followed by a winter run with Brad Paisley. Now the 17-year-old artist is joining Hunter Hayes’ We’re Not Invisible Tour, which comes to Toledo for a March 28 show at the Huntington Center.
“It’s going to be so exciting,” Bradbery said. “People know I performed with him on ‘The Voice’ during the live shows. That was so much fun. I’m really curious to see this audience.”
Bradbery has seen plenty of high-profile audiences of late. Not only did she get to sing the national anthem at the Houston Rodeo but she recently met Carrie Underwood. And no, she didn’t cry.
“I wanted to,” Bradbery said, laughing. “I got emotional, but I didn’t let out any tears. I was more excited than anything just thinking to myself I finally got to be face to face with her knowing how much I look up to her. It was a great moment.”
When it’s pointed out that Bradbery’s recent success means there are likely thousands of girls who now look at her as a role model, she admitted it’s an amazing feeling. Looking ahead, Bradbery knows sustained success isn’t guaranteed and fame can be fleeting. Considering how far she’s some in such a short while, she seems up for the task.
“Nothing is always going to be easy,” Bradbery said. “You have to work hard to get something you want, and you’ll have bumps along the road. For me, I just need to stay true to who I am, and just have friends and family around me to keep me grounded. As long as I have that, I’ll be OK through it all.”