But her sister might have known it before she did.
De’Borah’s parents are pastors and teachers. So, naturally, the 25-year-old from Chicago grew up singing in church.
She kept singing in church, wearing skirts and heels, until she turned 18 and “didn’t have to follow the rules set for me.”
She cut her hair. She stopped wearing such feminine clothes.
And, in an outcome not of her own choosing, she stopped singing so much in church.
There, she discovered, her looks suddenly mattered more than her voice.
She’s sometimes mistaken for a man, she tells The Voice. And, yes, she is gay, she adds.
“My sister told me that this (show) is where I fit,” she later told the judges. “That you don’t care what people look like.”
Christina and Cee Lo certainly liked what she sounded like, spinning their chairs during a flamboyant and confident rendition of “Hey, Soul Sister.”
Cee Lo told her he loved her “swag,” attitude and energy. Christina said she had “so much fun” listening to the performance.
De’Borah picked Team Christina, partly because of how much she relates to one of Christina’s hit songs, “The Voice Within.”
What the show didn’t show: Her last name is Garner and when she pronounced she was gay on The Voice she was also coming out to her parents, according to an interview she did with the Windy City Times. In that interview, she also talks about her struggle with her sexual identity and her rejection from the church music community. In her Voice bio, we learn that De’Borah is one of 11 children and plays the piano, bass and drums. Her musical inspirations include Maroon 5 and she says she winds up singing every song Cee Lo does. You can check out her vocals on her YouTube channel. Be forewarned: She tells Christina Milian she’s deliberately singing off key in the most popular video on the site. “People really think I can’t sing,” she says, smiling. And the video I’ve posted below seems far short of serious.
Editor’s Note: Check back for live blogs when the battle rounds begin on The Voice.
De’Borah sings Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”