Her audition: Hunter Plake, 20, of Baton Rouge, La., auditioned with “Carry On” by Fun. His vocal enticed a very early chair turn from Gwen Stefani. Alicia Keys later turned as well. Alicia liked his unique tone. Gwen called him “so gifted.” Hunter decided to join Team Alicia.
Her background: Hunter said he’s been watching The Voice since it started airing and sent in a video to see what would happen. He called getting a chance to audition a bright end to a bad year. He got married in June to longtime girlfriend Bethany and he and his wife moved into their home. But just two months later, massive flooding hit the Baton Rouge area. “We lost our home and our car,” Hunter says. The couple moved in with Hunter’s parents in Lafayette, La. “We’ve been there ever since, trying to figure out what our next step is.” Hunter also said The Voice marked the first time he’s performed on a stage outside a church setting.
What the show didn’t show:
* According to his bio on The Voice website, Hunter was influenced by church and music from a young age. His father was part of a Christian rock band called Brother Brother.
* He says he was 8 when he was asked to be the drummer boy at a Christmas production in church. That marked his introduction to performing.
* Hunter has been leading worship in church since age 14. He’s currently a worship leader at Crossroads Church.
* Last spring, Hunter started a business called Simply Music, offering music lessons in vocals, drums, acoustic and electric guitar, bass and piano. He was also performing at weddings and events.
* He studied worship arts at Masters Commission College and University in Fergus Falls, Minn.
* He and his brother Dakota are part of an indie pop band, according to an interview Hunter did with his hometown paper, The Advertiser, about his Voice audition.
* In that interview, Hunter said he and Dakota were about to release an EP last April, but decided to hold off to see if Hunter’s appearance on The Voice could broaden their fan base.
* As for their sound, in an interview with Social News XYZ, Hunter says “if you took Maroon 5 and mixed it with Coldplay, you would have my band.” Coldplay, Adam Levine, Alicia Keys and U2 are among his biggest musical influences, he says.
* Hunter said he went into the audition wanting to land a spot on Team Alicia. While he called it “one of the toughest decisions” he’s ever made, he decided to stick with his initial plan, especially once Alicia talked about the importance of sharing music with others.