Jacob Maxwell is making a leap from playing bars, coffee shops and galleries in his hometown of Coeur d’Alene to performing in a national singing competition.
Maxwell, 20, made it through blind auditions on the NBC series “The Voice” on Monday night, and was faced with choosing from two accomplished coaches – Grammy-winning, platinum-selling “American Idol” champ Kelly Clarkson, and Grammy-winning, platinum-selling singer-songwriter John Legend.
Maxwell, who’s been playing around the region the past couple of years, including at Pig Out in the Park in 2017, wowed judges with his performance of Taylor Swift’s “Delicate.”
Legend and Clarkson turned their chairs seconds into Maxwell’s performance, indicating their interest in mentoring him. In trying to woo Maxwell onto her team, Clarkson praised both his song choice and his “effortless” voice.
“You moved me, and that’s what it takes to get my chair to turn, and you’re just really incredibly talented,” she said.
Legend, meanwhile, called Maxwell’s voice “heavenly.”
“I thought a little bit about Jeff Buckley, a little bit about James Morrison. I just love your tone. It’s sweet, it’s distinct. Then at the end you showed me I took a good risk by turning around early, because you hit those notes so beautifully, with power and energy,” Legend said. “You’re a really pure, beautiful singer. We’re going to make America really happy. They’re going to love it.”
Maxwell selected Legend.
The video bio that aired Monday night featured Maxwell kayaking on Lake Coeur d’Alene and hiking on Tubbs Hill. He said he started playing guitar at age 12, and singing as well. “Before I knew it, it kinda seemed like one of the only things I could really be good at.”
Later, Legend said of his latest team member, “He’s going to be able to do a lot of types of songs because his voice is so pure. He’s going to be catnip for America. All the young girls are going to be voting for him. We’re going to make magic together.”
At the end of the bio video, Maxwell said he hoped he would find success beyond the Coeur d’Alene music scene.
“As much as I love this place, there is this feeling in my heart that I’m not supposed to be here right now,” he said. “So what better opportunity than being on ‘The Voice.’ ”
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