Entertainment Music Catch Up with 'The Voice'' s Jordan Smith, RaeLynn and More Memorable Contestants from the Last 10 Years Take a trip down memory lane with these standout Voice contestants — and find out what they've been up to since the show By Brianne Tracy Brianne Tracy Instagram Twitter Brianne Tracy is a staff writer on the PEOPLE music team. She has been with the brand since starting as an intern nearly six years ago, covering all things entertainment across print and digital platforms. She earned her Bachelors in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Southern California and has been seen on Good Morning America. People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 1, 2021 10:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos Jordan Smith. Photo: Tyler Golden/NBC/Getty 01 of 06 Javier Colon - Season 1 Javier Colon. Lewis Jacobs/NBC/Getty Do you have a favorite memory from your time on The Voice? Wow, that's hard! I have so many great memories from my time on the show. The blind audition night was pretty special for so many reasons, but if I had to choose one, it has to be finale night when I sang "Landslide" with Stevie Nicks. I was more nervous for that than for any other performance on the show. She's a living legend! I just didn't want to let her down. She could not have been sweeter to me, and I was so thankful to have had the moment on stage with her. What does it mean to you to have been the first winner? It meant the world to me to win that first season. It still does. There's a long story that I won't go into about how I almost didn't audition for The Voice that first season. All I knew was that there was a new singing show that was a hit in Holland and they were bringing it to the U.S. I had seen a few clips of their blind auditions, the big red chairs turning around, and a lot of excitement, and it was impressive, but I still didn't think it was for me. I had told some family and friends about the show and the upcoming auditions, but I had no intention of going. Then, two days before the audition, my brother called and asked if I was going. I told him I wasn't, and what he said next changed my mind. He said, "Jav, what do you have going on in your music career right now that makes you feel like you shouldn't go to this audition?" He had made a great point. I had nothing exciting to look forward to, no appointments with labels, no tours, no light at the end of the tunnel. I ended up going to that audition, and it was the beginning of the journey that changed my life. How do you think winning the show changed your life and influenced your career? It 100% changed my life. Before the show, I was a struggling artist who had a previous record deal that didn't work out, bills piling up, and a wife and kids at home that I was determined to provide for. If The Voice didn't work out like it did, I would have quit pursuing music full time and found a regular job to make sure my family was taken care of. What's the biggest lesson you learned from your coach, Adam Levine? Adam was such a great coach. He really allowed me to be myself and stay true to who I was. He taught me many things during and after The Voice. He gave great insight regarding my performances and how to make them the best they could be, but after The Voice was over, he had great advice on how to navigate through some of the craziness that the music business throws at you. I am thankful to have had him in my corner. What's been your proudest moment since the show? I've been blessed to have had a lot of great moments since The Voice, but one that will stay with me forever was being invited to perform on the PBS 4th of July special, which took place right outside the Capitol in Washington, D.C. That night, I sang "Stand By Me" to pay tribute to our wounded veterans, some of whom were in the front rows of the audience of 500,000 people. After my performance I got to walk down to them, shake their hands, meet their families, and thank them for their service and sacrifice for our country. It was incredible to sing for them, meet them, and thank some of them in person. Your TikTok videos are so great! Is there anything else you're working on right now we should know about? Thanks for the TikTok love!! I've been having a blast posting videos and duets with other amazing artists. I just recently duetted to a video that Loren Allred, another Voice alum, had posted. She has one of the most amazing voices on the planet. What's next? I'm working on some new music that I hope to release late this year or early next. Also, once this pandemic is over, I'm so looking forward to getting back to touring here in the U.S. and internationally. Can't wait to connect with my fans and live audiences again. 02 of 06 RaeLynn - Season 2 RaeLynn. Tyler Golden/NBC/Getty Do you have a favorite memory from your time on The Voice? One of my favorite memories was when I sang the Maroon 5 song "Wake Up Call" in front of Adam Levine. It was a fun moment! How do you think the show changed your life and influenced your career? Getting as far as I did on the show allowed me to have more time to learn about the business, gain a strong work ethic and, most importantly, learn how to connect with an audience. The schedule is rigorous and challenging, but those elements help prepare you for what being a recording artist is really like: long hours, hard work and commitment. What's the biggest lesson you learned from your coach, Blake Shelton? To be myself. No one else can be me. Uniqueness is a gift, and that is what helped me succeed. How special has it been staying close with him through the years? Any words of advice for him and his fiancée Gwen Stefani as they get ready for marriage? I feel super lucky. Blake continues to be someone I look up to. He's been part of a lot of the milestones in my career. I think they are perfect together. I knew that when they attended mine and Josh's wedding. They are just so sweet. I love her. What's been your proudest moment since the show? There have been a few! These moments for sure include having a No. 1 debut album and having my first single sell more than a million copies. The Voice was a beautiful foundation to my path in music. Congratulations on your single "Roots!" Should we expect some more new music from you this year? Thank you, and YES! I am really excited about releasing new music that will start dropping before this summer. I'm planning great collaborations, and I'm writing every day. I can't wait for my fans to experience this next chapter with me. 03 of 06 Cassadee Pope - Season 3 Cassadee Pope. Tyler Golden/NBC/Getty Do you have a favorite memory from your time on The Voice? My favorite memory is probably the aftermath from performing "Over You." I chose that song because I love it so much, and it was time for me to do a ballad on the show. Little did I know it would catch on so greatly and knock "Gangnam Style" off the number one spot on iTunes! I was beside myself. Then the next night, Carson [Daly] thanked me on air for doing so, which still makes me laugh to this day. How do you think winning the show changed your life and influenced your career? It gave me this very loyal, built-in fan base that truly knew my story. Up until that point, I had been touring and sharing my heart with one city at a time. Thankfully I created a fan base from that, which I'm proud of. But all of a sudden because of The Voice, millions of people knew me at an incredible rate. I was able to get on tours right off the show, publicity opportunities, writing sessions with amazing writers ... that show gave me a platform that still benefits me nine years later. What does it mean to you to have been the show's first female winner? It's something I often forget because it's already such a surreal thing to me that I even won! But I'm incredibly proud to have been the first female winner. To think I could've potentially shown a little girl somewhere that a woman can win The Voice leaves me misty eyed. I try to be a champion for fellow female artists and lift up other women in general, so that achievement is near and dear to my heart. What's the biggest lesson you learned from your coach, Blake Shelton? What I learned from Blake was really through observation. He was always so kind and down to earth with every single person he came in contact with ... in front of or behind the cameras. He navigated a pretty stressful environment with such grace and humility. I try very hard to be that way in my own career. What's been your proudest moment since the show? Getting a Grammy nomination is probably the thing I'm MOST proud of since the show. Being "Grammy nominated" will now forever be a part of my introduction for whatever I do so that makes me giddy. Congratulations on the success of your album Rise and Shine over the past few months! What's next for you? Thank you! That was truly a product of the pandemic to both help me through it, and hopefully my fans through it. New music is definitely in the cards for 2021. It'll be more raw, honest, and confident than anything I've ever done before. 04 of 06 Danielle Bradbery - Season 4 Danielle Bradbery. Trae Patton/NBC/Getty Do you have a favorite memory from your time on The Voice? Oh that's so hard because the whole entire experience was just one amazing memory after another! There is one that comes to mind, but it was more behind the scenes of the show. We were all in hair and makeup just hours before the live show started, and production told us to stop what we were doing and come to the stage because Usher had a surprise for us. Well, we all proceeded to walk to stage half-dressed, and no big deal, Oprah was standing on stage and wanted to give us some advice! I was the first one in line to say, "Hi." I remember she shook my hand and proceeded to hold my hand the whole entire time she was talking to us ... insane!!! That was a super cool memory. How do you think winning the show changed your life and influenced your career? It turned my life completely around! I was on one of the biggest and hottest singing shows at the time, and I'm this 16 year old that's like a fresh sponge just soaking every little thing in. It prepared me for the music industry and taught me more than I could've ever imagined! It still sometimes takes me back and doesn't feel real. What's the biggest lesson you learned from your coach, Blake Shelton? He was an incredible coach. He noticed how shy I was at the time and how new everything was to me, so he took me under his wing and helped me become more confident. He was there for any questions I had and was able to make me — and everyone on his team — feel comfortable. He was a huge help. What's been your proudest moment since the show? Big question! Thinking about everything I've been blessed to do so far, I feel the thing I'm most proud of since the show is how far I've come as a person. Yes, I had to grow up really fast, but I've been put through tests at a young age and compared to how shy I was, it's like the real Danielle came to surface and took control ever since. We are 1,000% stronger than we realize. What inspired you to release the Spanish version of "Never Have I Ever" — your first-ever Spanish song? My upbringing and my grandmother inspired me! My mom's side of the family comes from a Hispanic background. My great grandmother and grandmother were from Guanajuato, Mexico, and later moved to Houston, Texas. From the food, to the language, to the music, it's been around since I was born! I've just had such a huge love and respect for Latin music and have always wanted to sing a song of my own in Spanish ... and that day has finally come! Do you have any plans for a new album? Of course! I've been in the studio recording new music and I'm so excited. We're in the process of creating a new album now! 05 of 06 Jordan Smith - Season 9 Jordan Smith. Tyler Golden/NBC/Getty Do you have a favorite memory from your time on The Voice? One of my favorite memories from The Voice is when, during my blind audition, Gwen Stefani had someone roll out a cart covered in all her Grammy awards in order to convince me to join her team. Not gonna lie, I was very strongly considering going Team Gwen at that moment, but Adam Levine chiseled away at me until I ultimately chose him as my coach. I guess you don't get to see EVERYTHING on TV! You had so many great performances on the show. Are there any you like to revisit? I think the most obvious standout performance for me personally was "Somebody to Love." I remember feeling so incapable when Adam brought that song to the table. It took digging deep, but we finally struck the right approach, and I think it unlocked the performer in me. Still, sometimes I watch it and wonder who that guy is. How do you think winning the show changed your life and influenced your career? It's honestly impossible to describe just how much winning the show changed my life. I used to write songs in my bedroom and sing in my church choir. Now, I've had the opportunity to record three full length studio albums, tour the world, and write with some of the best songwriters in the business. I couldn't be more grateful to The Voice for giving me that kind of platform. It didn't just influence my career — it launched it. What's the biggest lesson you learned from your coach, Adam Levine? My biggest takeaway from working with Adam was the power of the gut. So many decisions were made by what felt right deep down. He listened and trusted his instincts and sometimes that's more valuable than a formulated plan. What's been your proudest moment since the show? The last five years have been full of high moments. Marrying the love of my life was probably the highest. Other than that, I was pretty proud of writing "Ashes" for Céline Dion. I'll never forget hearing that track for the first time, or seeing her perform it live. What a dream come true. Congratulations on the release of your single, "Great You Are!" Do you have any plans for a new album? Thank you! "Great You Are" is the first of many new songs that are on their way. So much has happened since my time on The Voice, but there is still so much of my story to tell. 06 of 06 Alisan Porter - Season 10 Alisan Porter. Tyler Golden/NBC/Getty Do you have a favorite memory from your time on The Voice? My favorite memory from The Voice will always be getting to know the other contestants that I was on the same season with. We are still like family and have shared something that only we can really connect with and relate to. They're the true gift of being on the show. How do you think winning the show changed your life and impacted your career? The show gave me the ability to perform a lot more than I was before and meet a lot of really great people along the way. As far as my career goes, it was completely up to me after The Voice. Luckily I had amazing people to collaborate with and guide me through that time. I would say that working with Matt Rollings is the biggest gift of my post Voice career — he is such an incredible producer and collaborator and has always been in my corner. I love what we create together. What's the biggest lesson you learned from your coach, Christina Aguilera? Christina is completely unapologetic about herself and what she stands for. She gave me a lot of strength in owning my self-worth, being a working mother and, of course, I always look up to her as a vocalist. What's been your proudest moment since the show? My proudest moment is and will always be getting to be Mason and Aria's mom. You've been open about the struggles of transitioning your career after the show. How did you find your footing with your independent album, Pink Cloud? I knew a major label wasn't going to take a chance on me in the way they would have needed to for an album like Pink Cloud. So I basically took matters into my own hands. Pink Cloud was the record I always wanted to make. I didn't make it because it was trendy or cool or current, I made it because it was the songs that were in my heart and soul and it was the style that I had always most connected to. It's more of a throwback '60s and '70s style album that is really formed of my love for songwriting. It's an ode to the greats: Joni Mitchell, Janice Joplin, Heart, Aretha Franklin and Carole King. All of my greatest inspirations. I basically (with a lot of help) created my own label for that time and the people who were involved shared my vision and saw it through with me. It was an amazing experience. Do you have any plans for a follow-up to Pink Cloud? Or anything else you've been working on we should know about? I am just in the beginning stages of planning my next project and in the meantime, I have started coaching amazing vocalists and teaching vocal performance classes. Since the pandemic hit, it has brought me so much joy to be able to share my knowledge with the next generation of amazing singers.