But if the 26-year-old ever writes a song about her blind audition for Season 13 of The Voice, there won’t be anything sad about it.
Brooke blew the judges away with her passionate, soulful cover of Demi Lovato’s “Stone Cold,” prompting Adam Levine to rush the stage to hug her in congratulations and rendering Miley Cyrus temporarily speechless — something that doesn’t happen too often.
She wound up with all four judges lobbying her to select them as her coach. Miley, after all, couldn’t stay silent for long. And she eventually convinced Brooke to join her team.
More good news came the day after the audition aired. Brooke’s version of “Stone Cold” turned out to be the most successful cover from night one of the blind auditions on the iTunes singles chart.
Not bad for a young woman who told Voice Views she had started thinking it was time to put all of her musical dreams on a shelf and come up with a Plan B.
Brooke was raised in the Native American community of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe in Hollister, N.C. Her parents ran the Mills Family Ministry, traveling from church to church. Brooke began singing with her parents at age 7.
She eventually formed a youth band called Brooke Mills and the Revolution that performed for youth groups at various churches, then headed off to Lee University and sang with the campus choir there.
That’s where she met her husband, Ray Simpson. After graduation, she followed him to South Florida where he is a worship leader.
“I sing with him as much as possible, but my biggest passion is writing,” Brooke said. “So any opportunity I get I try to find a coffee shop, open mic night, casino — anywhere — to sing my songs as well as covers.”
She says she writes about things she’s experienced “whether it’s about life-changing subjects, or just what I ordered at a drive-thru. I find it hard to take the listener somewhere I’ve never been.”
And Brooke describes her music as pop-soul, saying “I’m not James Brown and I’m not Britney Spears, just somewhere in between.”
The self-doubt about her future in music came last year. Brook said she found herself in a lonely place, especially after the passing of her grandfather.
“It felt like everything I tried to do to make a step forward in pursuing music, it did nothing but took me like three steps back,” she said.
“By the end of the year I just told myself that it was time to find peace in the fact that my dreams would never come true. And maybe I should find a plan B.”
She’d auditioned for The Voice four years ago and it didn’t work out. With prayer and the support of her husband, Brooke said she decided to try again.
In her case, the second time was the charm.
As for the tag she’s given herself — “the happy girl writing sad songs” — well, Brooke explained to Voice Views.
“Honestly it’s a sentence that describes me perfectly,” she said. “I’m naturally a very optimistic, energetic, happy person. But when I do go through tough times, instead of wearing it on my sleeve, I write it on paper and make it a song.
“That being so, I guess you could say a lot of my original music is written from a place of heartache, but my biggest goal as an artist is to let the listener know they are not alone. And whether 100 people in a room connect to my lyrics, or just one person, I know that I did my job.”
Here are Brooke’s social media links, followed by a couple of other samples of her music.