Most fans know that Billy Gilman started out as a child country star. Now that he’s a contestant on season 11 of NBC’s “The Voice,” he’s showed folks how determined he is to reinvent himself as a pop artist.
But, on Nov. 28 during the show’s Top 10 episode, the 28-year-old Team Adam contender returned to his country roots and pulled from the catalog of powerhouse sensation Martina McBride. Needless to say, he made a great choice!
Taking the stage as the night’s first performer, Billy launched into “Anyway” from Martina’s 2007 album, “Waking Up Laughing.” A string orchestra played along in the background to Billy’s powerful rendition, as he utilized his vocals to build up to the ballad’s big chorus. Then, he flaunted his angelic falsetto multiple times before whipping out the final long note.
Following Billy’s performance, coach Blake Shelton admitted that he was “happy to see Billy go back to the well.” He said, “When I think of you [country music] is still what I think of, and this is why, because you really connect with the song in that way. Martina is probably the only artist out there that you can really cover that can do YOU justice.”
Adam Levine, who was in awe of Billy’s performance from beginning to end, also added, “It’s just amazing that you can still astound me. Everyone knows you can sing. They know your story. But, I can’t explain to everybody how special what we just heard was. It really is a remarkable feat to do all of the things that [you] just did. I’m blown away.”
In his adolescent years, Billy was known for his 2000 hit “One Voice.” At the time, he was 11 years old and the youngest country artist to earn a Top 40 hit. In rehearsals, Billy credited Martina for his success saying, “Martina was the reason why I got a record deal. I actually did a demo of one of [her] songs, and she heard it. That enabled Sony to hear the demo tape, and I got it signed. It’s crazy how stuff comes back full circle.”