The Voice is back on NBC for a new season welcoming in brand new contestants to the stage to wow us with their vocals and move us with their stories – and Jay Allen already has viewers in tears after his blind audition which he dedicated to his late mom.
The hit singing competition returned for a brand new season on Monday, September 19, featuring husband and wife judges Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, along with returning judge John Legend, and The Voice newbie Camila Cabello.
Jay Allen wowed during his blind audition, which saw him cover Cody Johnson’s “‘Til You Can’t.” Jay secured chair turns from both Blake and Gwen, starting a bidding war between the couple. But in between the judges’ pitches, Jay revealed the inspiration behind his song choice: his mom.
Jay Allen talks about his parents during The Voice blind audition
When asked about his country music preferences by Blake Shelton, Jay Allen spoke of his parents’ influence: “My pops introduced me to all the classic legends and my mother listened to country music. I love alternative rock. I’d love to do Chris Daughtry meets Blake Shelton.”
Jay then went on to reveal more about his mother when asked why he picked that song to audition with by John Legend. “I relate to it because my mother was diagnosed with what’s called early-onset Alzheimer’s when she was 51. She passed away in 2019 at age 54.”
Jay Allen’s mother was Sherry Lynn Rich. Sherry met Jay’s father, Joe, back in Cedar Falls, Iowa almost 40 years ago. They met at Joe Allen’s country café where Sherry worked as a waitress. Joe Allen appeared on The Voice to cheer his son on from the sidelines.
Jay Allen raises almost $50m with a fundraising song for his mom
It wasn’t only Jay’s vocals that stunned both audiences and judges during The Voice blind auditions, but the revelation that he has raised almost $50 million for charity with his music.
“I wrote a song about it [Sherry’s passing]. I’m proud to say that song that I wrote has now helped raise close to $50 million to help fight against Alzheimer’s,” Jay Allen revealed to the judges in his audition.
Jay went on to perform some of the track, titled “Blank Stares,” for the judges.
Jay once performed Blank Stares with his mom on stage
Jay Allen wrote his hit “Blank Stares” several years ago, but it went viral in August 2018 after a fan posted a video of Jay holding Sherry tightly during a performance at the Iowa State Fair.
The video of Jay performing “Blank Stares” to his mom was viewed more than 125 million times on Facebook and would go on to get Jay national attention from media outlets. People, Forbes, and ABC World Nightly News all covered Jay and Sherry’s story.
You can watch the clip of Jay performing the song to his mom on stage below:
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