Meet ‘The Voice’ Star Paris Winningham, Blake Shelton’s Surprise Steal
Surprisingly, Shelton didn’t even turn his chair for Paris in the Blind Auditions, but the singer clearly grew on him during the competition. In the live shows, the fans have voted Paris through over and over again without ever putting him in the Instant Save.
Paris Winningham Has Gone from the Navy to ‘The Voice’
Paris Winningham is originally from Richmond, Virginia, but he currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida. The singer was adopted as a baby, and he has never met his biological parents. However, according to his The Voice bio, he knows that his biological mother was a singer and his biological father was a guitarist.
“I was about 7 or 8 when I was told that I was adopted,” Paris shared during the Knockouts. “The only thing that I heard in my head was, ‘There are two other people out there in this world that gave up on me.’ As a young man, I didn’t know what else to feel. But then I recognized, you got two people right here that love you unconditionally.”
Paris grew up playing drums and singing. At 20 years old, he joined the Navy and served as a machinist mate working in the engine room. He performed during his time in the Navy but shared in his audition that “my whole goal in life was just to make music.” After being honorably discharged, he’s finally making that dream come true.
“Not too long ago, I was selling cell phones,” Paris shared during the Battles. “So it’s absolutely amazing to be in this spot right here. This is the beginning of my life.”
Paris dedicated his Top 13 performance of “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye to his grandmother, who passed away last year. He teared up as he shared that he wasn’t able to be with his grandparents when they died because of his duties in the Navy. “I couldn’t do anything but apologize that I didn’t make the time when I could have,” he said.
Blake Shelton Gave Paris a Second Chance at Stardom
Before he auditioned for The Voice, one of Paris’ favorite places to perform was a bar called Flying Iguana in Neptune Beach. It was quite the different experience from performing in front of four famous musicians.
“You’re in front of people who have sold millions of records. You’re in front of four of the biggest stars in music today,” Paris told local news. “I for the first time in a while was nervous.”
Paris turned both John Legend and Ariana Grande’s chairs. He chose to join Team Legend, and he remained on that team until the Knockouts, when he was beaten by Jershika Maple. However, his journey on The Voice wasn’t over, as Blake Shelton chose to steal him. The coach admitted that hearing Paris sing a country song (“Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton) influenced his decision.
After the Knockouts, Paris thanked Shelton on Instagram for “believing in me enough to give me another chance.” Now that he’s made it to the Top 10, it’s crazy to think that he was so close to leaving the show. With “winning” in his name, will he make it all the way to the end? We’ll have to wait and see.