Danielle Bradbery will perform during the Patty Pollatos Fund Inc.’s Family FUNomenon on Aug. 23 at the Frederick Fairgrounds.
Danielle Bradbery is living large for a petite teen from Cypress, Texas. After winning Season 4 of NBC’s “The Voice,” on Team Blake with coach and country music singer/songwriter/superstar Blake Shelton, she’s no longer the super-shy high school student she was a year ago.
Bradbery will be in Frederick Saturday, Aug. 23, to perform for the Patty Pollatos Fund’s FUNomenon fundraiser, along with fellow Team Blake members The Swon Brothers, who placed third in Season 4.
I talked with Danielle by phone recently and learned that at 16 she was the youngest winner of “The Voice.” Now 18, she’s already toured with some of country music’s top names, including Shelton, Brad Paisley and Hunter Hayes, promoting her self-titled debut album (which features the singles “The Heart of Dixie” and “Young in America”), making music videos, performing around the country and still squeezing in time for the three R’s, as she’s now a high school senior — home schooled.
Is college in the plans?
“I’m still trying to figure that out, which steps to take with that,” Bradbery said.
She’s the spokesperson for Bobs by Skechers, joined forces with General Mills, Big Machine Label Group and Feeding America in their Outnumber Hunger campaign to fight hunger in local communities, and is one of this year’s celebrity mentors in Acuvue’s 1-Day Contest, aimed at helping kids and teens gain the courage to live out their dreams.
Finding courage to live the dream is something Bradbery knows first-hand. Too shy to sing in front of others, she would sing to the four walls in her bedroom. During her blind audition on “The Voice,” her mother told the story of Danielle singing for family while hiding beneath the dining room table.
“I know how I was before everything happened (with ‘The Voice’),” she said. “I was really shy, not confident.
“Everything you decide to do helps in getting you to that point where you can do anything,” she said. “It’s one little step you need to get past (your obstacle). Don’t be afraid.”
She said she “never thought about how far I would go” on “The Voice” or that “I would ever get to this point. I wasn’t expecting anything for myself.” In the early weeks, she said she was too shy to sing in the contestant impromptu jam sessions, thinking that her competition were all much better singers and performers.
Before taking the stage during shows, Bradbery said, “I tried my best to not think about it too much. Once I started singing I got more and more confident. Once I sang for the coaches and they turned around, it got more comfortable,” she said of the blind audition.
Bradbery said she is getting more and more comfortable in front of the camera to the point that making music videos is fun. Her most recent, for her current single “Young In America,” was shot mostly outside and featured one of her favorite things — fireworks.
Her favorite genre of music?
“I love all genres, and still do, but country music is what I grew up with. It was all around me all the time,” she said.
She’s doing a lot of songwriting now, too. “It’s really fun and I’m getting the hang of it,” she said. “I’m trying to learn the guitar and maybe the piano. I love the piano.”
Touring with major artists like Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton and Hunter Hayes, Bradbery said she has and is still learning a lot, studying “the ways they interact with the audience and how they get the crowd’s attention, and the things they do,” and adapting them for her shows.
Her first major purchase after winning “The Voice” was a new, four-wheel drive Ford F150. “The first day I got it, we were near the beach and I went mudding with it,” she said.
The teen with the powerhouse, perfect-pitch voice is also an avid outdoors woman, enjoying anything outdoors, from four-wheeling and horseback riding to fishing and “anything really. I’ll be first in line to do it,” said Bradbery, who got her love for the outdoors from her dad.
You can read more of my interview with Danielle Bradbery in the Aug. 21 edition of 72 Hours, inside The Frederick News-Post.