Blake Shelton couldn’t believe his eyes when he recognized this “The Voice” contestant’s face TheVoice/YouTube screenshot
TheVoice/YouTube screenshot

Blake Shelton received an unexpected blast from the past on the Sept. 27 episode of NBC’s “The Voice.”

It all happened when alt-country contestant Austin Allsup blew the country coach away with an incredible blind audition.

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Austin stepped out onstage and belted out a killer cover of the Rolling Stones’ ‘70s classic, “Wild Horses.”

In the video, the 32-year-old Texan strums on an acoustic guitar and wails out the high notes with his gritty voice. By the end of the performance, Blake was surprised that he was the only coach who pushed that red button.

But, perhaps there was a special reason that brought the two of them together. Why? Well, because this isn’t the first time that Austin and Blake crossed paths. In fact, Austin revealed to the “Honey Bee” singer that he was his opening act years ago at a venue called Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, Texas.

As it turns out, Blake remembered the whole encounter! Aside from Austin and Blake’s adorable reunion, the hopeful has quite a unique story to tell. Austin shared that his father, Tommy Allsup, was the man who almost got on the plane that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.

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“My dad’s worked with everybody from Willie Nelson to Merle Haggard to George Jones and many great artists,” said Austin. “[His] first big claim to fame was playing with Buddy Holly in 1959. My dad was the guy that flipped the coin with Richie Valens for the last seat on the plane.”


Austin says that he’s inspired by his father’s legacy, but that he’s trying to blaze his own trail. We can already tell that he’s catching fire. You can keep up with Austin’s journey on season 11 of “The Voice” at 8 p.m. ET on Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC.

Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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