Her audition: Celeste Betton, 27, of Hinesville, Ga., auditioned with Jennifer Hudson’s “Love You, I Do.” Near the end of her performance, Pharrell Williams turned around. He turned out to be the only coach to do so. Pharrell called her “great and amazing.”
Her background: She comes from a military family and says her passion is gospel music. She started singing in a youth choir at age 7 but says her musical aspirations “came to a halt” right after high school when she found out she was pregnant. She attended Troy University and earned a bachelor’s in English. She met her husband while singing in a church at Fort Drum in New York; he’s in the military as well.
What the show didn’t show: Celeste was attending Alabama A&M and a member of the traveling choir when she had to step away from music because of the impending birth of her daughter. But this isn’t her first stab at a vocal competition. She was a finalist in the military’s national “Operation Rising Star” last year and twice auditioned for the BET network’s “Sunday’s Best” gospel competition.
Celeste says pursuing a singing career while being part of a military family creates special challenges “if you don’t already have, you know, a massive following. Because as soon as you start to make connections and begin to work with people, you’re ready to move and move to another location.”
Celeste said she was a worship leader for about two years at Cathedral of Praise Church Ministry in Hinesville, Ga., while she and her husband were stationed at nearby Fort Stewart. They have since moved to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State.
“But worship leading is an awesome, awesome thing,” she says. “It’s where my heart is. I love ushering people into the presence of God … I love gospel music period. And, you know, that’s one of those genres where you have to emote because if you don’t feel it, then people can’t connect to what you’re doing.”
I’ll be posting profile blogs on every singer who lands a spot on Season 9 of The Voice. For links to the others, head here. Keep checking back. There are many more to come.
On iTunes: Just her performances from The Voice.
Battle round: Lost to Mark Hood, singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and was eliminated. The song hit #59 on the iTunes’s singles chart, the third best of the battle round.
Top 24: She was invited back to participate in the Top 24 show by Pharrell Williams. She performed “Something in the Water,” which hit number 36 on the iTunes Top 200. She was eliminated when Madi Davis and Evan McKeel were voted into the finals and Mark Hood received the Team Pharrell save.
Let’s Stay Together (cover from Rising Star competition)
Don’t You Worry About a Thing (cover from the Rising Star competition)
Blind audition — “Love You I Do”