Her audition: Hannah Kirby, 20, of Sulphur Springs, Texas, sang “The Letter,” showing off lots of power and passion. Only Blake Shelton had a spot left on his team at the time, and he turned around, completing his team with Hannah.
Her background: While Hannah was growing up, she said her mom was always playing acoustic guitar and writing songs “so I was constantly enveloped in music.” When she was 8, she started taking violin lessons and performed at jamborees. But she said singing became her main musical focus. She’s also nuts about video games and is a student at Texas A&M Commerce studying psychology. She still plays music, but says there aren’t that many outlets to do so in Sulpher Springs. She describes her voice as “raw and powerful.”
What the show didn’t show: In her Voice video, Hannah says her mom had lots of influence on her musically. “From the time I was a child, I feel like my mom was waiting, like, ‘Oh, I think she could be a singer.’ She really cultivated that in me.” On her website, Hannah says she had her first paying gig at age 12. At the time, she was performing country music in East Texas, something she continued until age 15. She attributes her love of folk music to that early experience. She sang jazz for a while after that. And while she hesitates to pigeonhole herself to one genre, Hannah says she now leans toward alternative rock. In an interview with Northeast Texas Public Radio, Hannah also says she’s been writing songs since she was a freshman in high school. “My first attempts were really pitiful,” she admits. So she says she talked to her mom, who advised her to write songs about what she knew. The songwriting improved and, at the time The Voice came along, Hannah was working on an album of original material. In fact, if you go to the 26-minute mark of the interview here, you can hear one of her impressive originals. You can also learn lots more about Hannah by checking out the Q&A on her website where she informs us that black is her favorite color — note that she’s worn black for both of her Voice performances so far — because it’s “calming, yet intense and fierce at the same time.”
On iTunes: Just her Voice performances.
Update: In the battle round, she was matched with Sarah Potenza. They turned in one of the best performances of the battles, singing “Gimme Shelter.” Blake declared Sarah the winner, but both Adam and Pharrell tried to steal Hannah. She decided to join Team Pharrell. In the knockout round, she was pitted against Caitlin Caporale. She sang “Higher Love,” but was on the verge of elimination again when Pharrell granted the win to Caitlin. This time, Hannah was stolen back by Blake.
On picking Pharrell over Adam after the battle round: “He told me, ‘You came out there swinging your purse like a southern church lady.’ … I had to close my eyes when I chose. My mind was like, ‘You have to go with Adam. He’s a rocker; you’re a rocker. He’s the obvious choice.’ But Pharrell touched my heart with the things he said. So I closed my eyes and went with my heart.”
Live playoffs: She performed “I Feel the Earth Move” and received Blake’s coach’s save to make the Season 8 finals. The song landed at number 123 on the iTunes singles chart.
Top 12: She performed Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen.” The song landed at number 63 on the iTunes overall chart, 10th best from the night. It was number six on iTunes rock chart.
Top 10: She advanced to the Top 8 on fan voting. Her cover of “Shout” hit number 46 on iTunes, fifth best of the night’s 10 songs.
Top 8: She landed in the bottom three and was eliminated when the instant save went to India Carney. She sang “We Don’t Need Another Hero” on performance night. The song hit nubmer 42 on iTunes, eighth best among the night’s eight songs.
“Pompeii” (Bastille cover)
“Rolling in the Deep” (Adele cover)
“Long As I Can See the Light” (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
Blake I hope you’re really trying to do a sleeper move here cuz you that Hannah Kirby is best thing that you have on your team
What a performer! Watch her video with the group, including Blake Shelton, sing “Midnight Hour.” It wasn’t until Hannah sang it with power and grit that the others understood the way that song was meant to be sung. Then they gave it more effort to keep up with Hannah! WHAT A PERFORMER!