5 Years Ago: Danielle Bradbery Wins ‘The Voice’
Bradbery's victory came thanks to strong performances of three songs during the The Voice finale episode: Pam Tillis' "Maybe It Was Memphis," Sara Evans' "Born to Fly" and a duet with her coach, Blake Shelton, on Patty Loveless' "Timber, I'm Falling in Love."
At 16, Bradbery was then the youngest person ever to win the TV singing competition. However, she exuded a wise-beyond-her-years aura, starting off with her blind audition: Her confident take on Taylor Swift's "Mean" caused three coaches -- Usher, Shelton and Adam Levine -- to turn their chairs.
As the season progressed, Bradbery kept on winning thanks to savvy song choices and a reverence for country history. Not only did she tackle two Carrie Underwood songs ("Jesus Take the Wheel" and "Wasted"), but she covered tunes by Jo Dee Messina ("Heads Carolina, Tails California") and the Judds ("Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Ol' Days)"), as well as other songs by both Tillis ("Shake the Sugar Tree") and Evans ("A Little Bit Stronger").
The day after winning The Voice, Bradbery signed with Big Machine Label Group, with which she has released two albums to date: a self-titled 2013 effort and 2017's I Don't Believe We've Met. She's earned two Top 40 country singles and toured with superstars including Miranda Lambert, Thomas Rhett and Brett Eldredge.
Despite her early TV fame, Bradbery is pragmatic both about her future and how being on The Voice steered her career.
"Being in the music industry, personally, just with everything that I’ve been able to experience, and being on The Voice at such a young age, you have to be a little bit more mature, just to tame yourself," she told The Boot in early 2018. "You’re out there in front of everybody, and you have to not be crazy and not be immature. You have to have this certain personality.
"For somebody young, you have to grow up, like, two years older than what you are," Bradbery adds. "I feel like, as years went on, I naturally feel older than I actually am. So, in my situation ... I wasn’t living the normal 16-year-old life."
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