‘The Voice’s Kirk Jay: Will He Be The FIRST African-American Country Artist To Win ‘The Voice’?

Julia Delbel
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Kirk Jay has been absolutely killing it on The Voice all season. He was a four-chair-turner at the blind auditions, won his battle and his knockout, and this past week the viewers voted him through to the top 13. Let’s get to know a little about Team Blake’s frontrunner and possible first African-American country artist to win The Voice.

1. Kirk was born in Bat Minette, but currently lives in Montgomery. A true Alabama homeboy, through and through!

2. His love of music started at a young age; he started playing the drums at the age of five and also sang his in his church choir.


3. He got his big break when he was discovered by a music manager who had him perform for Teddy Gentry, the bass player for the band named – coincidentally enough – Alabama.

4. Even more fitting? Kirk is the frontman of his own band, Kirk Jay & Kuntry Funk!

5. Kirk has spent the past several years performing at pen mic nights, gradually booking bigger gigs of his own. His most recent was last month in his current hometown of Montgomery!


The thing that makes Kirk stand out from the crowd is his amazing voice and killer stage presence. But there is something that makes him unique: He’s an African-American in the White dominated world of country music. In the past there have been Black country artists on the show. But I always kind of felt that it was a gimmick. Like they knew that country does well on the show and so they went for that lane. Not to mention the fact that Blake, (the winningest coach ever), will probably pick them. But Kirk is different. He stated in his audition that he is pure country until the day he dies. I believe him too. He seems to really get the vibe of country music and there is a certain purity to his style.

You might say that his race shouldn’t matter, that it’s his talent that counts. You are absolutely right…in a perfect world. But we don’t live in a perfect world. The truth is that to many country fans out there his race will be a factor in whether they vote for him over Dave Fenley. The reality is that there are few Black country singers out there. It’s not that the voters at home are racist per se. It’s honestly a reflex they may not even be aware of in their minds. The real problem is that the music industry creates these barriers and images that are hard to shake. However, if any African-American country artist has ever had a chance of winning The Voice, it’s Kirk Jay.

You can catch Kirk and the rest of The Voice‘s Season 15 top 13 Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.

 

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