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Winner of NBC's The Voice to Perform at UC Health Stadium

The Florence Freedom know a thing or two about winning, having done so over 40 times this season. Country music singer Craig Wayne Boyd also knows about winning, after coming up victorious in the seventh season of NBC’s show The Voice.  The two combine their winning ways for a performance on September 10 at UC Health Stadium as part of the “Team Blake” Concert.

Boyd, a Texas native, has played in many parts of the Bluegrass State but has yet to make his way to the area.

“I’ve played all over Kentucky, but never in Florence, so I am really pumped about it. It should be a blast,” he said.

Boyd’s winning of The Voice helped springboard his career in a major way. His 2014 song “My Baby Has a Smile on Her Face” became the second country song ever to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot Country charts since it was launched in 1958. 

“I had always wanted to take the music out to the people. That’s what I always set out to do. Now, there is a lot more people showing up for those shows,” Boyd said of the success that stemmed from his victory at The Voice.

Boyd grew up singing at his church as a boy and fiddling with a mandolin his father had given to him at an early age.

“I started playing music at the ripe old age of four,” he said. “My dad pulled four strings off of a mandolin and put that in my hands and he was a banjo player. I grew up in a very religious Pentecostal home and my mom took me to church and that’s where I learned to sing.”

From there, his road led him to the prime time TV show that seemed initially daunting to him as he tried to prepare to perform on such a major stage.

“Going out there I was very down on myself at the time. I was really second-guessing of what I was supposed to be doing and it really boosted my confidence and really pushed me to trust my gut instincts that what I was doing musically is what I should follow.”

He said that the long hours of a musician really helped propel him to the winner’s circle of the show, but that there is really no concrete preparation a singer can do to experience what it’s like competing in The Voice.

“You don’t,” he said about how to prepare for the show. “The only thing I can think of is all of the shows that I played leading up to that time was what really prepared me for that. One of the hardest things about being in the show is the stamina. You’re talking and singing for 20-plus hours a day and that can be strenuous on your vocal cords. I was playing four or five hours a night for 240 some odd days a year for quite a few years and that really built my stamina up to be able to handle that with no extra help.”

He said that the coaches and vocal teachers that were part of the show really helped him approach the songs he had sang for years in a new light.

“Never think that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks because I learned quite a few,” he joked.

Boyd has just finished a new album that he hopes will be released in late October. He intends to sing some of that new material at the show next week, along with tracks from his previous two albums and songs from The Voice.

Joining him at the show will be The Swon Brothers who were also contestants on The Voice in 2013. Their single “Later on” reached sixth on the Hot Country Charts.  Opening for the headliners on stage will be Halfway to Hazard who have opened for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill in the past.

Jason Owens Band will get the crowd warmed up on the concourse. Gates open at 6pm at UC Health Stadium on September 10. 

Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor/Photo via Facebook