His audition: TSoul, 29, of Richmond, Va., auditioned with Al Green’s “Take Me to the River.” A superb opening prompted an almost immediate chair turn from Adam Levine. By the time TSoul finished, Blake Shelton was facing in his direction too. Blake loved the experience in TSoul’s voice. The singer opted to join Team Blake.
His background: He adopted his stage name because “soul is what I’ve heard all my life. ‘You’ve got a soulful voice.'” But he says his interest in singing really wasn’t piqued until high school, when he joined the choir. He then went on to sing with the gospel choir at Virginia State University and says that gave him the opportunity to travel all over the world. He’s even performed in Japan. He’s now been a full-time musician for six years. Among the places he’s performed: The Apollo in New York, The Howard Theatre in D.C. and The Blue Note in Manheim, Germany. “It’s made TSouldiers all over the world,” he says. He says the first song he played on piano was “Fallin'” by Alicia Keys.
What the show didn’t show:
* His real name is Terry Pinkard.
* When TSoul was a child, his grandmother would sit him at the piano and teach him to play, according to his bio on The Voice website. But he didn’t perform in public until joining his middle school choir.
* In college, he joined the gospel choir, which led to an opportunity to perform all over Europe. Those performances included one for the Pope at the Vatican.
* He lives with his brother in Richmond and helps out with the family catering business to make extra money when he’s not gigging.
* In addition to performing at the Apollo in Harlem, N.Y., and the Blue Note in Manheim, Germany, he was featured as a new artist on the BET show Music Matters, according to his Facebook bio.
* He released a 10-track debut album called “Love and Music” in 2010; more recently, he released an acoustic version of that album. “Complicated” is especially good.
* In 2011, TSoul released a seven-track holiday album that includes covers of “Little Drummer Boy,” “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night.”
* In September, he released a five-track “Purge My Soul” EP, featuring more of a pop, R&B style. Be sure to check out “Non-Fiction” below.
* With 18,000 pre-show followers on Twitter and 13,000 pre-show on Instagram, he has one of the largest social media fan bases of any Season 12 contestant.
* His YouTube channel features scores of videos. It also has more than 55,000 subscribers and more than 8.2 million views.
* As for joining Team Blake? “He has a great knowledge of country music,” TSoul said in a conference call with the media. “As a soul singer, I believe country and soul — they’re like cousins. They’re related.”
Keeping up with TSoul:
“Non-Fiction” (from his “Purge My Soul” EP)
“Best of Me” (from his “Love and Music” album)