A Brief History of Blake Shelton’s Former Bandmate Pete Mroz
The Voice had to say goodbye to Blake Shelton’s artist Pete Mroz on Tuesday night. The 45-year-old singer was up for the Instant Save, but he didn’t receive enough votes from viewers to send him to the Semifinals.
This goodbye was especially meaningful for Mroz and Shelton, as they were formerly bandmates who reunited thanks to the show. Hilariously, Shelton didn’t recognize Mroz at first — although he liked his voice enough to turn around during his Blind Audition.
Blake Shelton and Pete Mroz Were Bandmates
After auditioning for The Voice with a cover of “Can’t Find My Way Home” by Blind Faith, Mroz shared that he used to perform under the name Pete Mitchell and was in a group called the Young Riders. That’s when Shelton realized they knew each other, as he was in the same group. However, they hadn’t seen each other in 25 years.
As Shelton explained, the Young Riders “wasn’t exactly a band.” Rather, Mroz shared that Nashville has a tradition called “songwriter rounds,” adding that “you kind of each do your thing.”
The Young Riders was founded by Brenda Cline, who brought together musicians aged 24 and under for a songwriting group. They played live shows at venues around Nashville, performing songs written by the group members. Shelton was one of the first young artists to join the group, having been recommended by Cline’s publicist friend.
“He came over and I fell in love with Blake,” Cline told the Tulsa World. “Are you kidding me? Blake is Blake. So I immediately recruited him.”
According to his website, Mroz (who is originally from Indiana) first moved to Nashville at age 19 to pursue a career in country music. He credits the Young Riders for helping him grow as a musician.
“Being selected by Brenda Cline to be in the Young Riders in my early 20s really helped me as an artist and songwriter,” Mroz told the Tulsa World. “It established me in the Nashville music community in a very real way, which led to many exciting opportunities.”
What Has Mroz Been Up to Since His Young Riders Days?
Mroz has recorded five albums since his early days in Nashville. However, according to his The Voice bio, he ended up taking a break from music to find a more steady job. After losing his father suddenly, Mroz decided to continue following his musical dreams.
The singer said in a 2013 interview that he had previously auditioned for The Voice, but didn’t make it through. Luckily, he didn’t give up on his desire to make it on the show. Mroz continues to perform music, playing 75 shows a year while working as a traveling sales manager. The singer is married, and he has two sons with his wife Toni.
Before his elimination, Mroz said he wanted viewers to “remember to be thankful, giving’s good, and live in the light.” Although Shelton didn’t choose to save him during Tuesday’s results show, he told Mroz that it won’t be the last time he sees him.
We’re sure this isn’t the last we’ll see of him either. In the meantime, Mroz posts music covers on his YouTube channel. You can also follow him on Instagram for updates on his life and career. Fingers crossed we get to watch him and Shelton perform together again soon.