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Apple Valley’s Brennley Brown, 14, wows audience, Blake Shelton on ‘The Voice’

Donning a country chic white dress and brown cowboy boots, singer Brennley Brown was back on the big stage and wowing television viewers across the country as she advanced to the second round on NBC’s “The Voice” Monday evening.

One of the youngest artists in the competition, the 14-year-old Apple Valley resident who previously competed on “America’s Got Talent” received loud cheers and a standing ovation from both the crowd and country superstar Blake Shelton after performing “Stupid Boy” by Keith Urban and officially making it through the “Blind Auditions.”

The Emmy-winning reality television show widely known for uncovering new singing talent kicked off its 12th season this week with a new rule — for the first time “The Voice” lowered the age limit from 15 to 13 for younger artists wishing to compete.

“Being 14, it’s a lot of pressure,” Brown said. “A lot of excitement and nerves were tied that day, but I grounded myself in my faith and gave it my all. It’s one of those life moments where you just have to go for it and I’m so glad I did. I told myself I’d be be grateful for any chair to turn.”

The “Blind Auditions” are based solely on the artist’s voice. If one of the coaches — Shelton, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine — is impressed, he or she will push a button to select the artist for their team and the coach’s chair will swivel so they can face who they selected. If more than one coach pushes their button, the power shifts to the artist to choose which coach they want to work with.

“I was freaking out ya’ll,” Brown exclaimed excitedly. “I’ve loved the show since I was 8 years old and wanted to audition. Literally at that moment a lot the crew were telling us to not focus on the chairs and sing from your heart and treat it like any other performance, and that’s what I did.”

During Brown’s audition, it was Shelton and Keys who took an interest in the young singer as they both turned their chair and attempted to persuade her to join their team.

Though it was a tough decision for Brown as she expressed love for both artists, ultimately the young artist stuck with her country roots and choose to be on “Team Blake” and have Shelton as her vocal coach for the season.

“I didn’t really have anyone in mind going into the blind audition, but I was completely surprised when Alicia turned her chair because she has so much heart and soul and in that moment it was so hard to choose,” Brown said. “But talking with Blake there was instantly a connection and he’s worked with other young country artists on the show.”

Coming from humble beginnings and raised on a ranch, Brown was introduced to her love of country music at the age of 6 and told the judges her musical inspirations growing up were Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, the Highwaymen and Faith Hill.

“It’s been eight years in the making and even with some difficult notes Brennley wasn’t going to give up and we’re all so extremely proud of her,” said Brennley’s mother, Misty Brown. “She’s not just an inspiration for us, but to the community as well.”

Moving forward, Brennley told the Daily Press she hopes to “give it her all” and fight every time she takes the stage by bringing some old-school country to the competition.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity and what I love most about this show is that it allows you to be your own kind of artist and to be yourself,” Brennley said. “I want to show America and a lot of kids my age it doesn’t matter what age you are or what your background is, you can do this and be yourself and move past your fears.”

The next stage for Brown will be the “Battle Round,” in which a pair of artists within a team sing individual performances in succession and only one continues on in the competition. The “Battle Rounds” are scheduled to air March 20 and 21.

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