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Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, And More ‘Voice’ Coaches Before They Were Famous

Jill O'Rourke

Jill O'Rourke

Blake Shelton Austin video

Ever wonder what Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, and other past and present coaches on The Voice looked like in their early days? Quite a few celebrities have sat in those spinning chairs over the years, and lucky for us, old clips are just a YouTube search away.


We already showed you videos of several Voice winners before they appeared on the show. Now it’s time to see what their coaches were doing before they made it big. Check out all the adorable (and dated) performances below.

1. Blake Shelton

In 2001, the country star released his first single, “Austin,” off his debut album Blake Shelton. In it, he sings a very long outgoing message on an answering machine while sporting a much longer hairdo than we’re used to seeing these days.

2. Adam Levine

You’ll have to look back a little further than “This Love” to find the beginnings of Maroon 5. The band started out as Kara’s Flowers in the ’90s. Before he was taking his shirt off at the Super Bowl, teenage Adam Levine was sporting flannel and rocking out for a mosh pit.


3. Kelly Clarkson

When Kelly was competing on American Idol back in 2002, local Texas news talked to her mom and choir director about what she was like as a kid. The piece included clips of young Kelly performing at school, including one funny moment where she tripped on stage and laughed it off in true Kelly fashion.

4. John Legend

The newest coach on The Voice appears in a 2003 video performing “Gold Digger” with Kanye West. He plays the piano as Kanye raps, and even sings a few lines himself. John would release his debut album Get Lifted a year later, and would make a cameo in Kanye’s “Gold Digger” music video in 2005.

5. Miley Cyrus

Miley auditioned for the role of Hannah Montana when she was 12 years old. The process included plenty of classic Disney Channel acting, and a duet of “I Want My Mullet Back” with her dad Billy Ray Cyrus. It’s not hard to see just how much Miley loved to perform, even back then.


6. Gwen Stefani

We all know about No Doubt. But did you know that No Doubt was performing as far back as 1991? We’re obsessed with this video of Gwen Stefani jumping around stage in a homemade bodysuit and backwards baseball cap.

7. Usher

Usher released his self-titled debut album in 1994, when he was just 15 years old. It included the song “Can U Get Wit It,” and the music video featured Usher skipping school to hang out with Diddy and sing in a room full of candles.

8. Christina Aguilera

You probably know that Christina got her start on The Mickey Mouse Club with stars like Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Ryan Gosling. But have you ever watched one of her performances? She was just as much of a powerhouse at age 13 as she is now.

9. Jennifer Hudson

What better way to look back on Jennifer’s early days than to watch her audition on American Idol back in 2004? The singer had just finished working on a Disney Cruise ship before trying out for the show with the song “Share Your Love With Me” by Aretha Franklin.

10. CeeLo Green

CeeLo began his career as part of the rap group Goodie Mob. After appearing on a few Outkast tracks in the early ’90s, the group released their debut album Soul Food, which featured a single of the same name, in 1995.

11. Shakira

Shakira was showing off her charming stage presence all the way back at 11 years old. We especially love the ’80s hairdo and girly pink dress she dons in this old performance video.

12. Alicia Keys

In 1990, at age 9, Alicia donned a tiara and performed “This One’s for the Children” on piano at a local talent show. It’s not hard to recognize grown-up Alicia’s distinctive style even at such a young age.

13. Pharrell Williams

Pharrell has a long history in the music industry before “Happy.” He and Chad Hugo, known as The Neptunes, produced and wrote on tracks in the ’90s and early 2000s. Pharrell appeared on songs by artists such as Babyface and Jay-Z before releasing his debut album with N.E.R.D. in 2001-2002.

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About the Author

Jill O'Rourke

Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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