Female country singers made their presence known on Monday night’s (Feb. 27) premiere of The Voice Season 12 with a performance by Brennley Brown.
Dressed in a white sundress and tassel cowboy boots, the 14-year-old from Apple Valley, Calif., sang a sweet rendition of Keith Urban‘s Grammy Award-winning song “Stupid Boy” in a performance that prompted coaches Blake Shelton and Alicia Keys to both turn their chairs in support. A country girl at heart, Brown revealed after her audition that she grew up listening to country greats like Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings.
Brown previously competed on America’s Got Talent in 2016. Her reaction to getting a spot on The Voice was adorable, shaking and crying with excitement to applause from the crowd. Shelton and Keys got into a heated debate over who should coach the young singer, with the “Every Time I Hear That Song” singer taking jabs at Keys for not knowing country as well as him. When Keys fought back that she recently collaborated with Cam at the 2016 ACM Honors in tribute to Little Big Town, Shelton responded in typical fashion, joking that he’s never a guest at a country show “because I am the country concert.”
Keys made a compelling point, calling country and soul music “sisters” and acknowledging that she also got her start when she was the same age as Brown, further driving home the point that “real music transcends boxes.”
After much debate, and Brown proclaiming that she loves them both, the young country singer picked Shelton as her coach. “I love the potential that I have with somebody like Brennley,” Shelton says of his new protegee, saying that he thinks she’ll go a long way in the competition.
Season 12 of The Voice airs Monday and Tuesday nights at 8PM EST on NBC.