'The Voice' season 15 winner Chevel Shepherd dishes on being coached by Kelly Clarkson and reveals the secret to her success
Season 15 of 'The Voice' has come to a close and has finally crowned its winner, 16-year-old Chevel Shepherd of Farmington, New Mexico. This not only marks the second youngest contestant to ever win 'The Voice' but the second consecutive win for coach Kelly Clarkson. Having only been a coach on the show for two seasons, Clarkson is now responsible for two consecutive wins with the youngest winner in 'The Voice' history Brynn Cartelli and now with Chevel Shepherd. Cartelli came back to 'The Voice' this season to debut her new single and during that time, Shepherd got some good advice from her predecessor.
"I asked Brynn how she balanced being so young and winning the show and she just told me to go home and be normal for a little while. To take as much time as I need at home, to hang out with my friends and do normal teenage things before I really start my career."
Besides being the second youngest winner in The Voice’ history, Shepherd is also the only country artiste to win the show, outside Blake Shelton’s team. Clearly, Clarkson is doing something right and knows how to coach young female talent in a relatable, yet constructive way. This shouldn’t come as too big a surprise as Clarkson won 'American Idol' in 2002 when she was around 20 years old. Speaking exclusively to MEAWW, Shepherd expanded on what it is about Kelly that really helps artists grow and become comfortable in their own skin.
"Kelly is so supportive and open and you can really be yourself around her. She’s so easy to talk to and she just wants to make sure you're having fun. She wants to see you succeed no matter what, so it was just really great to work with someone that was like a sister figure to me."
Believe it or not, Shepherd actually went to a casting call for 'The Voice' for season 13 and didn’t even make it to the blind auditions. This is likely the first time in 'The Voice' history that this has ever happened. That said, Clarkson wasn’t a coach on season 13 of 'The Voice', so it seems as though things worked out the way they were meant to.
"For season 13, I went to an open call and didn’t make it past the open call. I feel like I grew a lot as an artiste from then until this season. I got older, my voice progressed and this season was just the right time. And especially through this season, my stage presence improved so much. I got good at being in front of millions of people and connecting with them one by one and looking into their eyes and moving along the stage comfortably."
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Clearly, 'The Voice' is supportive of unique, young talent that can take direction well and blossom in front of millions of viewers.
However, it’s not always easy for a teenager to be in that kind of environment, away from their home, friends, and family. Shepherd shared some good advice for young contestants in the competition, as well as a secret perk to winning the show.
"Focus and have lots of fun and always be yourself. Also, don’t pack a ton of clothes! Because if you win you get to take a lot home and I still have a ton that I need to pack. I get to keep all the outfits I wore on the show, it’s awesome."
The year ahead will be a busy one for Shepherd, and after taking some time off for the holidays she cannot wait to start her career.
"My biggest goals for 2019 are to come out with an album, hopefully, sing at the Grand Ole Opry and go to the CMA’s," she sums up.