‘The Voice’ Alum Kristen Merlin Opens Up in Music Video for “Shame”

Catherine DiMeglio
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Kristen Merlin2014 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Kristen Merlin of The Voice opened up about her new music video for “Shame.” The Country singer rocked the blind auditions in 2014 and landed on Team Shakira. The top five finalist has since released two independent EPs, achieving a number of successful singles. Today, Merlin is back with a brand new track. In the music video for her single “Shame,” the artist shares a message of inclusivity. The strength behind her lyrics as a queer artist prevaild throughout the song.


Merlin Condemns Judgement in “Shame” Music Video

In the music video for “Shame,” Merlin powerfully opens up about her experience as an openly gay woman. She has faced many demons in her life and budding career. However, the artist also makes it a point to represent a multitude of different people and relationships in her video. Here, she condemns the judgement of those who look down on people who are different.

The visuals for “Shame” are powerfully executed. In the opening scene, Merlin leads us down a dark alleyway. Sitting against the brick walls are faceless figures holding up mirrors to her reflection. The words “You’re too different” and “You Don’t Belong” are written on the glass for her to see.

“Shame on the way you’re acting, shame that you can’t get past it, shame that you just can’t see I’m more than who I hold hands with. I know I’m not what you’re used to, but I am no different than you. It’s a shame that you just can’t see I’m more than who I hold hands with,” she sings in the chorus.


A variety of other LGBTQ+ and interracial couples are also featured in the video. They, along with Merlin, are also judged by the faceless figures as they walk down the dark alley. In the climax of the video, the word “shame” is spray pained in red over a large mirror. The artist stares at the word reflecting back at her before smashing the glass with a rock.

Merlin Feels She is Finally Being Heard

In an interview with People, Merlin expressed that as a kid, she felt like she wasn’t being heard. Now she stands in strength, and lives by her truth. Here, she explains that she always knew that she was gay. It was after the passing of her grandfather, that she finally gained the courage to come out and live as she is.

“I knew it and I wasn’t afraid of it because I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum,” she said in the interview. “So much support from all of the faculty and the students. I wasn’t putting it in anybody’s face, but I also wasn’t apologizing for finding a way for me to be comfortable with my sexuality.”


Merlin states that the scenarios shown in the video for “Shame” were pulled from her own life. Aside from her personal battles, she decided to include stories of the lives of others she heard over the years.

“It was absolutely an emotional journey,” Merlin said in the same interview. “So many of the people in the video were my friends and it was just a beautiful thing to have people who have been on this journey with me to be a part of something like that.”

Now, she hopes that “Shame” will continue to make its mark on anyone who hears it. Merlin has also partnered with the Human Rights Campaign upon the song’s release. You can watch the music video now on Youtube, and also stream the audio on Spotify. It seems like big things are coming from the one of a kind Country artist.

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