"She is grace and professionalism and talent and all of these rolled into one," Jade told reporters after the top 12 live playoffs
After years of singing backup for Jennifer Hudson, Kyla Jade is stepping into the spotlight.
During the top 12 live playoffs of The Voice on Monday night, Jade had a full-circle moment when she closed out the show by performing Hudson’s showstopper “One Night Only” from Dreamgirls — with some encouragement from Hudson herself.
“It gives me anxiety,” Jade, 33, told reporters after the show of taking on the hit. “Jennifer is one of my ‘sheroes.’ She’s one of the women I look to because she is grace and professionalism and talent and all of these rolled into one. Any time I’m able to sing a song and honor anyone who has been such an example to me, I love to do it.”
After her powerhouse performance, Jade received a standing ovation from all four coaches, as well as praise from her coach Blake Shelton.
“J-Hud was just texting me 12 minutes ago,” Shelton said. “She was excited to see this. Let me say on behalf of her, welcome to the front of the stage. No more insecurities about taking your moment and stepping out here. Let’s start mowing them down. This is your time.”
Earlier on the show, Jade said during rehearsal that she was “really nervous” for the performance and talked about how much her life has changed.
“Before I started singing for Jennifer three years ago, I was sleeping on couches,” she said. “I wasn’t making enough money to live on my own. And the only time I slept in beds was when I was on tour.”
The Nashville resident said that Hudson, who was a coach last season, had no idea she was even planning on auditioning for the show.
“I was actually nervous to tell her,” Jade said. “I was through executives before I even told her. She had no idea.”
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.