Why ‘The Voice’ Could Have a Rare Rock Winner – Get to Know Huntley
As the curtain is about to close on Season 24 of NBC's The Voice, we may have the rare opportunity to see a rock singer take the title. Fredericksburg, Virginia native Michael Huntley, who just goes by the professional name Huntley, is the oddsmakers favorite to take home The Voice crown as we prepare for the finale this week.
Over its 24 year run, The Voice has had a fair share of rock singers, though mostly pop, soul and country artists have populated the competition. There have been some winners that have dabbled in rock music (Cassadee Pope, Chloe Kohanski, Alisan Porter) over the course of their run, though perhaps not as consistently as Huntley who has stayed in the rock genre throughout his entire time on the show. So why might a true rock singer finally emerge victorious on The Voice? Read on to find out about Huntley and his journey this season.
Who Is Huntley?
The 33-year-old Virginia native made his debut on The Voice receiving a four-chair turn for his blind audition as his raspy, powerful vocal on a cover of The Black Crowes' "She Talks to Angels." As he revealed in his audition, he's been singing since he was a child, often mimicking Elvis Presley in his youth.
The coaches started throwing out comparisons ranging from Reba McEntire noting a Chris Stapleton quality to his voice, while Niall Horan called out U.K. singers Daniel Merriweather and James Morrison and Gwen Stefani noted a bit of Sublime's Bradley Nowell.
"Music is just something that really comes from my soul," he explained to Stefani.
Huntley's The Voice Blind Audition - "She Talks To Angels" (The Black Crowes)
While noting that he's got a "definitely southern blues rock 'n' roll" sound, he cites Joe Cocker and Hozier as musical touchtones.
Over the course of his run on the show, Huntley revealed that he moved to Nashville in his late teens, faced multiple rejections and was homeless for a period before returning to his Virginia home, and he's gotten emotional over the praise he's now receiving.
The singer is also the father of a 6-year-old daughter, Stella, who helped him pick his coach, going with Niall Horan, at the conclusion of his blind audition pitches from the coaches.
Outside of The Voice, he played with a band called Lucys Letdown, and he released his solo debut single, "Holding On" in April 2022.
Huntley's The Voice Journey So Far
After his four-chair turn in the Blind Auditions, Huntley was paired up with fellow competitor Brailey Linderman in the Battle Round, performing Hootie and the Blowfish's "Hold My Hand." The performance brought all four coaches to their feet, while Gwen Stefani noted, "Huntley, in this moment, I'm worried you might win this show."
The Voice Battle Round: Huntley vs. Brailey Linderman, "Hold My Hand" (Hootie and the Blowfish)
Huntley once again wowed with one of his strongest performances to date, performing Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" in the Knockout Round. During his rehearsal with mega mentor Wynonna Judd, the country icon was so impressed that she wanted him to give her a call if he ever needed backup vocals on the track.
Knockout Round: Huntley, "Wanted Dead or Alive" (Bon Jovi)
For his first appearance in the live playoffs, Huntley was given a song by coach Niall Horan that's been recently charting on the alternative airplay charts, Dave Kushner's "Daylight." The song showcased his powerful vocals once again, with Niall Horan noting after, "That's gonna be one hell of an album [you eventually release] and I'm going to buy it" with Reba McEntire chiming in with a "Me, too."
Playoffs: Huntley, "Daylight" (Dave Kushner)
Making it to the Top 12, Huntley went with a tune from one of his musical touchtones, Joe Cocker, one that also allowed him to showcase a powerful scream that shook the room. Performed with The Voice band and backing singers, it was another resume builder in his journey to a potential title.
Top 12: Huntley, "With a Little Help From My Friends" (Joe Cocker)
And, as we got to the Top 9, it was "Fan Week" on The Voice, with the singer's growing fanbase helping to pick Kaleo's soulful and raw single, "Way Down We Go" as his showcase to potentially push him to the finals.
Top 9 (Fan Week): Huntley, "Way Down We Go" (Kaleo)
Where You Can Watch + Vote for Huntley in The Voice Finals
We've reached finale week on The Voice, with oddsmakers Gold Derby recently projecting Huntley with 59/20 odds of taking home the title. The Team Niall singer recently overtook country vocalist Ruby Leigh from Team Reba as the frontrunner to win it all.
The Voice Season 24 finale is split into two parts: Night 1 on Monday, Dec. 18, kicks off at 8PM ET / 7PM CT on NBC and features all Top 5 Artists performing one final time to earn America's vote. Voting takes place here. Night 2 unfolds on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 9PM ET / 8CT with the final results.
30 Best Rock + Metal Songs of 2023
Gallery Credit: Loudwire Staff