The Voice, widely known for uncovering new singing talent, began its 11th season this week, and among the aspiring artists who’ve already aced their first audition is Apple Valley local Lauren Diaz.
Making it through the “blind auditions” on NBC’s Emmy-winning reality television show was “basically a dream come true,” Diaz told the Daily Press Wednesday.
The 24-year-old sang Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” earning her a spot on the team of the artist herself, who is one of The Voice’s new coaches this season, along with Miley Cyrus. Keys, Diaz’s longtime music idol, said that Diaz sang her song even better than she could herself.
Diaz said receiving that compliment was “just mind-blowing.”
“I’m so thankful to even have the opportunity of this platform,” Diaz said. “I’m shocked, dumbfounded… I still have no words.”
Diaz, born in Omaha, Nebraska, has lived in the High Desert since she was two years old, currently residing in Apple Valley and working as a voice coach.
“I never thought that I would get an opportunity like this,” Diaz said. “I feel like I am in this weird place. I know it’s real, but it’s like it isn’t real. I’m still trying to come off cloud nine.”
Along with the victory of making it onto the show, Diaz was delivered a second life-changing surprise the night of her audition, when her boyfriend and father of her son proposed right after.
“It definitely was a shocker,” Diaz said. “We’ve been on and off for six years … It was a long time coming and I can’t believe he did it on national television — it was the icing on the cake.”
Diaz is also known locally as one of the regular singers at High Desert Church, where she has been helping lead worship for about two years.
“I’m so thankful that my hometown has been so supportive and has showed me a lot of love,” Diaz said.
She expressed that she is overwhelmed by the messages she’s been recieving, and wishes she could respond to everyone individually.
“My phone I think is going to crash,” Diaz said. “I’ve never gotten the amount of attention that I’m getting now.”
It isn’t Diaz’s first time being on TV, however. When she was 13, she won an episode of “America’s Most Talented Kid,” singing the same Keys song.
It was at the age of 19 that her music career temporarily went on the back burner, after she got pregnant with her son. During the same time, her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“I had no idea what I was going to do — I had this huge responsibility I had to take care of,” Diaz said. “I put my faith in God and knew he was going to get me through it … I knew that no matter what the roadblocks,singing is what I am meant to do.”
Most interested in R&B, soul and gospel music, Diaz says she is excited to see where "The Voice" will take her.
“I’m honestly right now just trying to be positive and be normal,” Diaz said. “I’m home, I get to be a wife — my husband and I eloped — and my heart is set on still being a vocal teacher because it’s what I love to do.”
Diaz’s audition on The Voice has already hit no. 15 on iTune’s R&B/Soul weekly chart. She encourages the community to continue supporting her by tuning in to The Voice and voting for her when the time comes.
The next stage is the “Knockout Rounds,” in which a pair of artists within a team sing individual performance in succession and only one continues in the competition. The Knockout Rounds begin airing Oct. 10.
Charity Lindsey may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-951-6245. Follow her on twitter @DP_Charity.