(Pictured left: Jacquie Lee during her blind audition for The Voice, photo credit NBC / Universal)
Vera Wang's Lucky Boots Win Jacquie Lee Spot on The Voice with Team XTINA
The Complete Season 5 Collection (The Voice Performance) - Jacquie Lee
October 3, 2013
Via Video Skype
Interview by Nicole Hanratty
Video edit assistant #BMG
Long thick brown hair frames Jacquie Lee's doll like beautiful face complimenting her flawless Italian complexion as she appears in my Skype frame. All giggles and smiles, her enthusiasm is contagious. She is my first Skype video interview and immediately she looks for the partially missing eyebrow I tweeted her about having earlier in the day. "I can't even tell though," she says as she leans into the screen to look closer at the scene of my crime. "Really?" I ask, "really," she confirms in that way you can always count on a close girlfriend to tell you the truth. But her forehead in my screen examining my face makes me laugh, "I'm not coming any closer," I tell her. She laughs too and tells me she's done the same thing to herself a ton of times and already I can see this is the kind of girl you root for to win in life.
Watch Jacquie Lee's On Camera Interview
While everything about the 16 year old from Colts Neck, New Jersey in Monmouth County says normal teenage girl from her favorite shopping spot (which she tells me is Urban Outfitters) to thinking about colleges to attend, Jacquie Lee's average life is about to be flipped on its head. The sports loving field hockey playing teen won a spot on Season 5 of NBC's The Voice--watch her audition below--with her killer rendition of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black." Coaches Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera turned around to battle for the R&B powerhouse vocalist just as the song ended. As Blake and Christina tried to persuade Jacquie Lee to choose his/her team, CeeLo Green obsessed on the singer's cute boots asking repeatedly, "Are those boots Aldo?" (She diplomatically declined to answer.)
(Pictured left: Jacquie Lee in her Vera Wang rockstar fashion boots loved by CeeLo Green, photo credit FindOrionPhotography)
Jacquie Lee's popularity is already taking off with the official NBC The Voice channel YouTube video of her audition at over 175,000 views in one week (with multiple knock off videos also pulling in tens of thousands of views). While the attraction to her talent is not surprising, we expect that when you watch her chat with us you will also fall in love with the highly relatable girl behind The Voice, from her rockstar crush on Adam Levine "How can you not?" she giggles in awkward embarrassment, to her love of gummy bears and favorite music artists that include The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Bob Marley, Nora Jones, Ed Sheeran, and Christina Aguilera. She tells me another cute pair of shoes and a powerhouse song are yet to come…
"From the closet to the stage," Jacquie Lee says as we talk about how she overcame her fears of singing publicly. When she was younger she hid in the closet to sing for her family and over time she built up the courage to sing in front of others. The final hurdle for the young singer songwriter was gaining the confidence to sing her original songs which she said is like reading her diary in front of strangers. I asked her to give us an example of something she dealt with personally in her life that she could share with her young fans. Her reply is remarkably mature yet speaks to her generation in a direct and relatable manner.
(Pictured left: Jacquie Lee seeing two coaches turn around after her blind audition on The Voice, photo credit NBC / Universal)
"I think that if you have a passion then you always want to get better at it and move forward. If you're afraid to do something then obviously that's gonna be an obstacle that eventually you're gonna have to overcome if you want to pursue your passion--which is hard to do at a young age because you're not quite sure what you want to be great at, at first. That's the hard part figuring out what you want to do." She goes on to share how she was taken to a small coffee shop by her "older sister" Brielle Brown and her mentor GRAMMY® award* winning songwriter/producer/musician Marc Swersky. The two encouraged Jacquie Lee to play a few of her own songs on a little keyboard in a place where there was "no judgement," she says. "My advice to younger kids who are struggling with obstacles to overcome is just breathe and try new things. You don't have to do it all at once, but it's like little stepping stones. Just try new things," encourages the young star. And she should know. From the closet to the stage was a big distance to walk, even in those lucky Vera Wang rockstar boots. "As long as you love what you do," says Jacquie Lee, "you can't really go wrong."
Watch Jacquie Lee The Voice "Back To Black" Blind Audition
* via monocentricmusic.com: Marc is a two time GRAMMY® Award Winning songwriter featured on: The Bodyguard Soundtrack for the song “Trust In Me,” sung by Joe Cocker and Thanks And Giving All Year Long (Executive Producer, Marlo Thomas) for the song “I’ll Give Anything But Up,” sung by Hilary Duff. Marc Swersky also works with American Idol's Gedeon Luke.