After The Voice

Celebrating 20 Seasons of The Voice, Week 9


The Voice is celebrating its 20th season this spring.

And I’ve decided to celebrate too, by shining a spotlight on my all-time favorite post-Voice music.

Please note that I’m not labeling these songs as “the best” post-Voice music. That’s simply too dependent on musical tastes.

These are my favorites, songs that make me smile or move me every time I listen.

I hope you’ll celebrate these artists with me. After all, they’re the ones who have made The Voice worth watching since the show premiered April 26, 2011.

Editor’s Note: There’s also a Spotify playlist I’ll be updating weekly. Just search for Celebrating 20 Seasons of The Voice.

Raelynn from The Voice Season 2 RaeLynn, “Insecure”

RaeLynn has released lots of great music since being the first artist we met on Season 2 at age 17 and finishing Top 8. But this is my favorite RaeLynn tune. It comes off her 2017 “Wild Horse” album; she co-wrote it with Jimmy Robbins and fellow Season 3 contestant turned country songwriter supreme Nicolle Galyon. And it’s all about pushing aside feelings of jealousy. “I wanted this song to be like a pep talk,” RaeLynn told ET. “Like, ‘Don’t get insecure. He’s not into her. She’s playing dirty all flirty from across the room. You might think that girl’s a 10. But she doesn’t count to him.’ I love that line in the song because it’s so true. I know that I have girl crushes. When a girl walks in, I’ll be like, ‘Damn, she looks good!’ and I’m like, ‘I wonder what he thinks about her?’ But when you find a man that’s in love with you, they don’t even look at her. They just see you.” RaeLynn is featured on a single called “Roots,” a collaboration with hip-hop artist Lathan Warlick released earlier this year. And she’s promising new music and live shows “comng soon” on her Instagram.
RaeLynn Instagram. RaeLynn on Apple Music. RaeLynn on Spotify.

Natalie Stovall from The Voice Season 13Natalie Stovall, “Making Out in Cars”

Natalie released this single in 2018 after finishing Top 24 on Season 13 of The Voice. But it’s a song she’d heard in demo form years before and said she “immediately feel into a love trance with it.
“It’s such a raw snapshot of real life,” she said at the time. “Messy. Complicated. Sad. Hopeful. REAL Life. I’ve wanted to record it for so long and am so proud to have finally put it out into the world.” The song was written by Natalie Hemby, Barry Dean and Troy Verges. After an eventful 2020, Natalie’s no longer a solo act. Last spring, she became the new third member of the country group Runaway June. In fact, their first full band show together was at the Grand Ol’ Opry. Later in the year, Natalie began hosting shows at the Opry. And Runaway June released a Christmas EP, the group’s first with Natalie aboard. Everything fell in place earlier this month when Natalie hosted and Runaway June performed at the Opry on the same night.
Natalie’s Instagram. Runaway June on Apple Music. Runaway June on Spotify. Natalie Stovall on Apple Music. Natalie Stovall on Spotify. Natalie Stovall and The Drive on Apple Music.

Gracee Shriver from The Voice Season 17Gracee Shriver (with the Swon Brothers), “Rain”

More than six years and 13 seasons separated The Swon Brothers’ appearance on The Voice from Gracee’s. But all three are from Oklahoma. So when Gracee appeared on Season 17 at age 16, Zach and Colton graciously reached out and suggested a collaboration at some point. Gracee wrote “Rain” with Ben Prosser “from a place of heartbreak in someone else’s life that I happened to observe,” she told Voice Views. “It was written as a pop song at first, but I fell in love with it and decided to put a country twist on it and record it myself. Once it was written, we decided that it would be really cool to turn it into a duet. … I felt that (The Swon Brother’s) voices would work really well with it. After sending them a message and crossing my fingers, they said ‘yes.'” And Gracee’s hunch proved correct. It turned out to be a wonderful collaboration. Gracee’s most recent single, “You Can’t Have Both,” dropped earlier this month. The Swon Brothers released their latest album, “Nashlahome,” in November.
Gracee’s Instagram. Gracee Shriver on Apple Music. Gracee Shriver on Spotify. Swon Brothers’ Instagram. Swon Brothers on Apple Music. Swon Brothers on Spotify.

Ashland Craft from The Voice Season 13Ashland Craft, “Your Place of Mine”

A Top 10 finisher on Season 13, Ashland wrote this song with Willie Morrison and Lee Starr and released it in late 2019. It’s about a woman so lonely and heartbroken that she’s ready for a one-night stand. And not very bashful about that fact. “It makes me feel something, and that’s all i could ever ask for out of my music. Hope it does the same for yall,” she wrote at the time. And you might say Ashland’s been on a roll ever since. She signed with Big Loud Records in the spring of 2020 and celebrated 2.2 million streams of her music on Spotify last year (up from 278,000 in 2019). A longtime WWE fan, the 24-year-old also just made WrestleMania history by becoming the first female country artist to sing “America The Beautiful” at the annual event. People documented the event and she even got to meet several WWE legends, like Hulk Hogan.
Ashland’s Instagram. Ashland Craft on Apple Music. Ashland Craft on Spotify.

Kristi Hoopes from The Voice Season 13 Kristi Hoopes, “Ghosts of the Greats”

Kristi earned a spot on Season 13 of The Voice and this glorious song comes from her debut EP, “Life of the Party,” released in November. The song was the product of her second co-write ever, which was supposed to be with Lynn Wilbanks. “On the day of, she asked if Kirsti (Manna) could join in too — and I’m so glad she did!” Kristi told Voice Views. “I brought in an early version of the melody and the idea of someone being broken-hearted and turning to music for comfort. Kirsti piped up and asked, ‘What if we wrote it from the perspective of the record? What if the artist of the record was talking to you?’ It was an odd and unique thought, so we decided to roll with it and see where it led. And, voila, ‘Ghosts of the Greats’ was written!. Kristi said this was the song that gave her the confidence to begin planning her EP, so she decided “to honor its impact” by making it the final song of the collection.
Kristi Hoopes Instagram. Kristi on Apple Music. Kristi on Spotify.

Texas Hill, Craig Wayne Boyd, Adam Wakefield and Casey James Texas Hill, “Darkest Sky”

In 2020, Craig Wayne Boyd (The Voice Season 7 champ), Adam Wakefield (The Voice Season 10 runner-up) and Casey James (third on American Idol Season 9) introduced themselves as a trio called Texas Hill. And this song about resilience, written by the team of Ryan Beaver, Mike Walker, and James LeBlanc, became their debut single. Recorded before the pandemic, the nationwide Covid shutdown made it even more timely. Craig told Billboard he had wrapped up a song-writing session with LeBlanc when he first heard “Darkest Sky.” Recalls Craig: “I asked for a copy of it and listened to it all the way back from Muscle Shoals to Nashville. I sent it to the boys (Casey and Adam) because I felt like it was definitely a message that we could relate to in our own lives and careers -— not knowing that the world would be taken by a pandemic a few months later — and it fit right into how we feel about it all.” The song’s been streamed more than 100,000 times on Spotify and Texas Hill included it on the debut EP they released in September.
Texas Hill Instagram. Texas Hill on Apple Music. Texas Hill on Spotify.Craig on Instagram. Craig on Apple Music. Craig on Spotify. Adam’s Instagram. Adam on Apple Music. Adam on Spotify.

Justin Andrews (Whisnant) from The Voice Season 10Justin Whisnant, “Truth or Dare”

Justin was performing with the country band Cold Water County when he auditioned for Season 10. In fact, they were in the middle of cutting a debut album when The Voice interrupted the process. Justin wound up advancing to the live playoffs on the show. Just two months after Season 10 ended, the album landed, an impressive seven-song collection as “Justin Whisnant and Cold Water County” to capitalize on the publicity he’d gotten from the show. This hard-driving song was the album closer. A month later, Justin announced he was leaving the band. He’s now performing in Nashville as Justin Andrews and is part of the house band at Losers Bar and Grill. He’s released one single as Justin Andrews — “Leavin'” in 2019 — says new music is on the way and has recently posted a couple of originals to his social media accounts.
Justin’s Facebook. Justin Andrews on Apple Music. Justin Andrews on Spotify. Justin Whisnant on Apple Music. Justin Whisnant on Spotify.

See also …
Week 1: Christina Grimmie, Sawyer Fredericks, Mia Z, Kensington Moore, Taylor John Williams, Koryn Hawthorne, Zaxai, Brynn Cartelli

Week 2: Kat Robichaud, Chevonne and The Fuzz, Melanie Martinez, Archis (Dia Frampton), Rebecca Loebe, Jamar Rogers, Brian Nhira

Week 3: Brennley Brown, Craig Wayne Boyd, Adam Wakefield, Kyndal Inskeep, Austin Jenckes, Jared Blake, Cassadee Pope

Week 4: Secret Someones (Leila Broussard), D.R. King and Jackie Foster, Wolfchild (Gabriel Wolfchild), Ricky Manning, Moses Stone, Wé McDonald

Week 5: Tony Lucca, Juliet Simms, Chris Mann, Duncan Kamakana, Jordy Searcy, Adanna Duru, Stephen Marcellus

Week 6: Chloe Kohanski, Meghan Linsey, Christiana Danielle, Charlotte Sometimes (now LACES), Chance Pena, Matt McAndrew, Angie K (Angie Keilhauer)

Week 7: Ricky Duran, Luke Wade (as LAWS), Billy Gilman, Emily Keener, Kylie Rothfield, Johnny Gates, Amanda Brown

Week 8: Dustin Christensen, Jonny Gray, Kat Robichaud, Dia Frampton, Lelia Broussard

Week 10: Angela Wolff, Brooke Stephenson, Fousheé, Paxton Ingram, Ashley DuBose, Javier Colon, Gigi Rich

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