Much to the surprise of fans, the 16-year-old singer and member of Kelly Clarkson's team was announced as the winner of season 15 on Tuesday
“I am still hyperventilating,” Shepherd told reporters after the show. “I am very blessed. … I am super excited.”
“It’s been crazy just getting the opportunity,” she continued. “Not many teenagers, not many 16-year-olds get the opportunity to stand on The Voice stage and sing on national television for the world and get mentored by Kelly Clarkson and Mariah Carey and Thomas Rhett. It’s just been awesome, and it’s been life-changing.”
In honor of Shepherd’s win, here’s everything to know about the New Mexico native who is well on her way to making her mark in country music.
1. Her mom inspired her to learn how to yodel
Shepherd first learned how to yodel after her mom showed her a video when she was about 11 years old. Before then, she had no idea what yodeling was.
“I just fell in love with it,” she told reporters after the Dec. 3 show. “So I kept doing it.”
“My grandpa, he always wanted someone in the family to yodel and no one can but me,” she said after the show. “So it was really cool having him sit in the audience and being able to sing that song for him.”
2. She originally auditioned for The Voice last year
Shepherd originally auditioned for season 13 of the show by getting in line for the open call in Las Vegas, but she didn’t end up making it to the Blind Auditions as the teams were already full. She was then contacted by the show to audition again for season 15, which meant she luckily didn’t have to wait in line again.
“It’s been crazy,” she said. “I feel so blessed just to get a second opportunity.”
3. She “cried” when Loretta Lynn showed her support
Lynn shared the video of Shepherd’s Voice performance to her Facebook page and wrote, “Loved it, honey!”
“It was crazy getting feedback from Loretta Lynn after my performance when I sang her song,” Shepherd said. “I actually cried; I literally bawled my eyes out. I couldn’t stop crying because she’s a country legend and somebody that I really look up to. It was just awesome.”
4. She has an unusual talent that doesn’t involve singing
Not only can Shepherd sing, but she said she can also do a “really great” horse noise and dog bark.
Another fun fact is that the high-schooler used to be a cheerleader.
“I used to fly and get thrown in the air,” she said. “That was really fun.”
5. She considers herself an “old soul”
If her song choices from week to week didn’t make it clear, Shepherd confirmed that she considers herself “an old soul” after one of the live shows.
“I love the sound of older country music,” she said. “I love everything about it — the storytelling, all of the instruments and the musicality of it. I love being able to do something different that no one is doing now because it’s all modern country and old country is dying, as well as yodeling. I’d like to bring it back.”