Her audition: Lauren Duski, 25, of Nashville, auditioned with Jewel’s “You Were Meant for Me.” Adam Levine turned almost immediately. He was soon joined by Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani. Blake called her a contestant who can clearly “win this thing.” Lauren opted to join Team Blake.
Her background: She comes from a family of dentists. But Lauren started singing around age 9, wound up getting connected with a country band and traveled around Michigan playing dinner shows. “I was hooked,” Lauren says. Still, she figured the practical route was college. So she graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in biopsychology, cognition and neuroscience. Then came the choice: dental school or music? She wound up moving to Nashville, so you can guess which won.
What the show didn’t show:
* She’s from Gaylord, Mich. According to her website bio, Lauren has been performing for audiences since age 7.
* The classic country cover band she toured Michigan with was called the JR Country Band. As a result, she wound up opening for Lonestar, Randy Travis and the legendary Bill Anderson.
* But all the performing at such a young age also had drawbacks, especially when it came to friends treating her differently because she’d been off at a show instead of attending someone’s birthday part of sleepover, Lauren told Voice Views. So she pulled back on performing.
* But her parents bought her a guitar, which she called “the biggest blessing, because from then on I was able to express myself creatively in my bedroom without judgment.” She was involved in choir and community productions during middle and high school, but didn’t get back to performing as a creative artist until her junior year in college.
* She also wound up singing background vocals for a Michigan-based country band called The Mercy Wheel. She’s featured on a song called “Easy” from the group’s 2014 album, “29.”
* The move to Nashville was sparked by a meeting with independent filmmaker Ann Gillis and her husband Marving, according to The Voice website. Ann has since been diagnosed with ALS; Lauren is her caretaker.
* Meanwhile, Lauren says she’s been writing a lot of music and performing around Nashville, preparing material for a debut solo project, her website says.
* She has yet to release any music under her own name, but she’s a featured vocalist on a single called “Local Celebrity” by comedian Pat Stansik.
* You can head to Soundcloud to hear a couple of her originals.
* Lauren’s cover of “You Were Meant for Me” was the best performing song on iTunes from week one of The Voice Season 12 blind auditions.
“Leave the Night On” (cover with Dan Henig)
“Let Me Go” (original)