NBC's The Voice first came onto our televisions in the spring of 2011, where it quickly proved to be a hit, premiering with more than eleven and a half million viewers. By the end of the season, it was averaging 12.33 million viewers per episode, a little under half that of its major competitor, American Idol. The 2011-12 season of television saw it beginning to close the rating gap, with The Voice garnering an average of 15.76 million an episode, barely four million behind American Idol. The latest season's premiere saw 15.86 million people tuning in. The Voice still hasn't managed to eclipse American Idol, but it is managing to hold its own, with fans liking the more structured mentor ship and the celebrity coaches and hosts.
But was does a winner win, and is it worth it? Winning The Voice nets you $100,000 and a recording deal with Universal Music. So, let's see how The Voice's five previous winners are doing, musically and financially.
5 Jermaine Paul
Jermaine Paul auditioned with Avril Lavigne's 'Complicated', impressing Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton, both of whom offered to coach him. He chose Blake Shelton, and the two collaborated on a cover of 'Soul Man', which, while well received, did not break the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #108. His version of 'I Believe I Can Fly', performed during the finals, made it to number eighty-three on the charts, though. Like Javier Colon, he had a music career prior to The Voice, starting with choirs and choruses in school. As a teenager he joined 1 Accord, which was signed to T.W.is.M Records, Shaquille O'Neal's record label. The quartet released a single on vinyl, 1997's 'Shortie Girl'. He also worked as a background vocalist for artists like Alicia Keys. Following his win on The Voice, stereotube reported rumors that the executives in charge of the voice were unhappy with Jermaine being selected as winner, favoring Juliet Simms as being more marketable. This may have influenced the changes in season three of The Voice, where the judges had more of a say on who would make it to the final rounds. Post-Voice, Paul's career has been quiet. In 2012, he released 'I Believe in this Life', the first single for a yet-to-be released album. His album has been given a tentative release date for 2014, and will reportedly be titled Finally. Jermaine Paul has an estimated net worth of $100 thousand.
4 Tessanne Chin
Winner of season five of The Voice, Tessanne Chin received offers from all four judges after her performance of Pink's song 'Try'. She selected Adam Levine as her coach, and her cover of Simon and Garfunkel's 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', which she sang in the semifinals, reached number one on iTunes. Her first US single was 'Tumbling Down', which was written by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder. Before the voice, she received vocal coaching from both her mother and Lecie Wright, and toured Jamaica with rock band Mile High, as well as acted as a back-up singer for Jimmy Cliff before launching a solo career. The Voice was her break into the international market. Like Bradbery, her post-win schedule has been busy, with performances at music festivals, the White House, and is expected to perform at the Voice Summer tour 2014, alongside other winners and runners up. Her debut album is expected to be released on the 27th of this month. Tessanne Chin has an estimated net worth of $200 thousand.
3 Danielle Bradbery
Unlike other winners, Danielle Bradbery had no prior performance experience when she won season four of The Voice. She had started the season strong, with her cover of Taylor Swift's 'Mean' in the blind audition, prompting Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Usher to offer her a spot on their team. She chose Blake Shelton, which made him the winning coach three times in a row. At only sixteen, she's the youngest winner of The Voice. She also had more singles from The Voice reach the iTunes top ten than any other Voice contestant so far. Since winning The Voice, she's been very busy, with two tours under her belt already, the Beat This Summer Tour in 2013 and the We're Not Invisible Tour in 2014. She's also found time for philanthropy, performing at the Eighth Annual Tradition of Hope Gala, as well as at a Girls & Guitars charity concert for the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. Somewhere in between all this, she also released her first album, Danielle Bradbery, in November 2013, which peaked at number five on the US country music charts and number 19 on the Billboard 200.
Her busy post-win schedule has lead many to hope that she'd be The Voice's first big star, like American Idol's Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood, but this has yet to be proven. Danielle Bradbery has an estimated net worth of $300 thousand.
2 Javier Colon
Javier Colon chose Cyndi Lauper's 'Time After Time' for his blind audition, wowing all four judges, each of whom offered to be his coach for his run on the show on The Voice's first season. He ended up choosing Adam Levine as his coach, who would help him produce his song 'Stitch by Stitch', which would reach number seventeen on the US Billboard Hot 100. Javier's stint on the voice was no doubt helped by his musical past- he spent two years traveling with the Derek Trucks Band, as well as performed small solo gigs. He also recorded two albums with Capitol Records, 2003's Javier, which performed reasonably well, reaching number eighteen on the US R&B album charts and ninety-one on the Billboard 200 album charts. 2006's follow-up, Left of Center, didn't do as well, and he and Capitol records parted ways. He released The Truth, an acoustic EP on a personal label, Javier Colon Music, in 2010. He reports that his time on The Voice was 'the best thing that happened' for his career. Post-the voice, he released Come Through For You, which hit number twenty on the R&B charts, as well as A Very Acoustic Christmas, through Universal Motown Records group. He announced through BuddyTV in 2012 that he and Universal Republic Records would be parting ways. He's kept busy, though, with his TV show, Inside the Voice with Javier Colon, a weekly recap and analysis program for the hit show. His net worth is reported to be $1.8 million.
1 Cassadee Pope
All four judges of The Voice tried to recruit Cassadee Pope for their team after she stunned them with her performance of Ednaswap's 'Torn' at her blind audition in season three. Before her appearance on the voice, she was the lead singer of the pop-punk band Hey Monday, which drew the attention of Fallout Boy's Pete Wentz, where they then were signed to Columbia Records, where they released their first studio album, Hold On Tight, in 2008, on which Pope wrote all the lyrics. Hey Monday toured with groups like Fallout Boy and Yellowcard, until she decided to pursue a solo career, going on an acoustic tour in 2012. She also released a solo album, entitled Cassadee Pope, in 2012. Joining The Voice, she quickly rose to prominence amongst her peers. Her and mentor Blake Shelton co-wrote 'Over You', which she dedicated to her great grandfather, reached number one on iTunes, taking the place of PSY's 'Gangnam Style'. Her cover of Keith Urban's 'Stupid Boy' also reached number one on iTunes. The compilation of her performances on The Voice sold 19,000 copies in the first two weeks, and her EP, Cassadee Pope experienced a resurgence in popularity. Her first post-Voice album, Frame By Frame, had a more country edge than her previous pop-punk outings. The album debuted at number nine on the billboard 200, and at the top of the Country Albums chart, selling 170,000 copies by the end of April 2014. Her net worth is estimated to be $4 million.
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