Craig Wayne Boyd, 35, the country singer who moved to Nashville a decade ago to pursue a music career, came close to giving up his dream in the face of financial pressures.
“I remember a little more than a year ago sitting in a pickup outside of a club after I had played to basically no one and talking to my drummer and saying, ‘Listen, I may have to quit because it’s not paying my bills and I’m losing my house.’ I lost my pickup. I didn’t know what I was going to do. And him telling me, ‘Dude, you can’t do that,'” the singer said Tuesday during a post-finale press conference with his coach, Blake Shelton, and host Carson Daly.
“And then randomly the opportunity (came) up to go audition a few months out for The Voice and I was like, ‘You know what? You ought to go do that,'” said Boyd, who is from Texas but moved to Nashville when he was 25.
Boyd’s intuition served him well, as he triumphed Tuesday, the lone survivor from coach Blake Shelton’s team facing three finalists training under coach Adam Levine: Chris Jamison, Matt McAndrew and wild-card qualifier Damien.
Boyd, who kissed his 2-year-old son after his victory, said he was “caught … so off guard” with the news of his win that “I screamed like a girl.”
After playing more than 1,000 shows in the last 10 years, he said the victory “truly feels like validation that all the hard work I put in up to this point has been worth it.”
Daly said a new Voice twist, giving each finalist an original song to perform in Monday’s competition finale, could help Boyd gain a stronger toehold with fans. Voice singers have had success after winning, but the show has not created a star of the magnitude of American Idol‘s Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood.
Boyd sang his original song, My Baby’s Got a Smile on Her Face, as Tuesday’s show ended.
“The thing about any of these competition shows (is that) when somebody wins, the marketplace has been invested in these people for so long and they’re ready to wake up tomorrow like, ‘OK, I’m in the Craig Wayne Boyd business.’ Now, for the first time, which is unprecedented for us as a show, we have product for people to go out there and get,” Daly said. “It can be the great launching pad for a great career.”
For Shelton, Boyd is the fourth singer from his team to win The Voice in seven seasons of coaching. He reveled in the victory, which prevented Levine from tying him for overall wins.
“It’s (bleep) awesome!” Shelton said, causing Daly to interject: “Merry Christmas, kids! From your Uncle Blake.”
“Yes, (I will) rub it in Adam’s face,” Shelton continued. “He may quit the show before I’m done rubbing this in his face.”
On a more serious note, Shelton praised Boyd for his perseverance.
“I know how much he’s put into this competition firsthand, but I’m also aware of how much he’s put into trying to make it as an artist in the music industry and the struggles and the ups and mostly the downs that he’s had. All the doors shut in his face, the carpet yanked out from under him,” he said. “And all of a sudden, here’s a guy who is the winner of The Voiceand he’s already sold a (lot) of music. There has never been a more deserving person to hold that trophy than Craig Wayne Boyd as far as paying dues.”
Boyd might want to hold Shelton to an offer he made after the show. The popular country star said: “I told Craig I’d open for him as long as he’d have me.”
The press conference ended so that Boyd could catch an overnight flight to New York for appearances Wednesday on NBC’s Today and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Shelton did a double take. “You’re doing The Tonight Show already? It took me 10 years to do that.”