NBC’s "The Voice" drew its eighth season to a close Tuesday night after naming folk singer Sawyer Fredericks the winner of the 2015 competition. Now, with exposure and a record deal on his side, it’s time for America to really get to know the young artist.
Frederick’s beginnings are about as humble as they can get. The shy 16-year-old prodigy grew up on an 88-acre farm in Upstate New York with his parents and two brothers. This time last year, he was waking up in the morning to feed cows and collect the chicken eggs, according to his “The Voice” bio. Now, he’s soaking in all the glory that comes from winning the prestigious musical competition.
Although his resume as a farmhand doesn’t make it seem like it, Fredericks was always destined for a career in music sooner or later. All of the down time that comes with farm life allowed him to craft his singing voice and write some original songs. At the age of 16, he’s already put out one album. Although none of these originals made their way to “The Voice” stage, the artist said the show discovered his music on YouTube and invited him to come out for the blind auditions. Once he did, all four judges (Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton) hit their buttons and turned their chairs around hoping to get this soulful folk artist on their team.
Ultimately, Fredericks told “The Voice” confessional that he went with Williams given that he talks the most about originality, which is something he thought would mesh well with his style – and boy was he right. Together, they created some of the young prodigy’s best onstage covers of songs like “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” “Iris” and “Take Me To The River.” After Fredericks made it to the top 10, he solidified himself as, what Carson Daly proclaimed, the “king of iTunes.”
Each of his songs broke the top 10 charts after they were posted by “The Voice.” After embarrassingly losing all of his team before the top 8 performances last season, Pharrell desperately needed a win in Season 8. And that was something Fredericks was happy to deliver him.
At the end of the day, despite all the glitz and glamour of the show’s grand stage, Fredericks is just a kid from a farm with a guitar and a fondness for the folk artist Ray Lamontagne. Had he not won the competition, odds are good Fredericks would still be on cloud nine today having performed his first original single on “The Voice” stage, "Please," which Lamontagne wrote specifically with him in mind.
Now, fans of this teenage heartthrob are ready and waiting for what he’ll do next. Check out the emotional announcement of Sawyer Fredericks as “The Voice” Season 8 champion below. Be warned, the moment when he hugs his proud parents may cause inadvertent tears of joy.