A packed house of Rotary Club of Farragut members and guests was treated to a performance by The Voice champion and Bearden High School graduate Chris Blue at its meeting in One Life Church Wednesday, March 11.
Blue, who was scheduled to perform at the Rotary Club District 6780 Conference Concert Friday, April 17, shared how God led him to audition for NBC’s The Voice, using Blue’s “inner voice.”
Blue, 30, won first place in season 12 of The Voice in 2015, with The Miracles’ “The Tracks of My Tears,” which he performed for Rotarians. He also sang “Love and Happiness” at the RCF meeting.
Blue related how he grew up in a single-parent household the youngest of seven children in Florida, in a “very poor, impoverished neighborhood.
“We did the best with what we had,” he recalled.
His mother put together a band, The Blue Family, which sang in local churches. He started singing at age 3.
The group later was renamed the Blue Brothers, which performed across the Midwest and later on the Bobby Jones Gospel Show on BET.
The family moved to Knoxville when he was 10, and Blue attended and played basketball at BHS and Knoxville Christian School before attending Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga.
“I am not a Gators fan; I cheer for the Tennessee Vols,” he added.
Ordained at the age of 15, Blue started preaching at Peace and Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church in Knoxville in 2013, but he wanted to be a musical artist, so he headed to Riley, North Carolina, to chase after his dream because he was convinced “it would happen for me.”
Instead, he worked three jobs for two years, struggling, while he stocked shelves at Walmart, flipped burgers and worked as a janitor.
“That was my hustle,” Blue said.
Yet, all the while, he recalled, “I kept hearing this voice in my head.”
About six months in, Blue remembered he was sitting on the couch of his cousin’s home and “heard this voice in my head say, ‘Go to school.’” But, he ignored it. Then a college commercial came up on the TV screen.
While he turned off the TV when that commercial came on, he said, “The voice never left.”
Another six weeks went by, and Blue said he still heard the voice, and “I’m still being disobedient.
“So, God says, ‘OK, if you won’t hear my voice, then I will make you feel my hand.’” In a matter of six months, he lost all three jobs.
Blue returned to Knoxville and was homeless for a year.
“I kept hearing this voice in my head,” he said. “That voice was the Holy Spirit, and I still was not listening.”
However, Blue’s sister and members of his church told him to audition for The Voice, and he finally listened. He went to Atlanta, where he auditioned against thousands — and was selected to audition in Los Angeles.
The rest is history.