RaeLynn Talks Success After The Voice Ahead of Free Dallas Show

RaeLynn was picked by the Voice coach Blake Shelton during the blind audition. Now she considers Shelton a close friend.
RaeLynn was picked by the Voice coach Blake Shelton during the blind audition. Now she considers Shelton a close friend. Joseph Llanes
RaeLynn performs at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Klyde Warren Park. Admission is free.
When RaeLynn’s debut album WildHorse went No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart, her husband didn't know it even happened because he's deployed.

RaeLynn doesn't name his location or which military branch Josh Davis serves, but its a duty that cuts him off from her.  "I miss him terribly all the time,” she says. “I’m so excited for him, but it's hard because he doesn't even know my record went number one, so that part has been hard, but I'll be able to see him in a couple of weeks and I just miss the crap out of him, but I'm so proud of him and excited.”

RaeLynn's breakout moment happened during appearances on The Voice. Her version of the Pistol Annies' “Hell on Heels” landed her a spot on Blake Shelton’s team and a friendship with the country superstar. They even went on tour together earlier this year.

"Blake is like my family. I can't imagine life without him. We're extremely close and I've just seen the relationship grow over the last couple of years," RaeLynn says. "It's really cool now to see him with my husband and see how much they love each other.”

"I said, 'Thank you, Jesus' and then I cussed." —RaeLynn

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It’s been five years since The Voice. She auditioned in 2012 and only made it to the quarterfinals. Appearing on the show isn't a guarantee for success, as many contestants have found.  RaeLynn says it’s the work after the show that makes the difference.

"The Voice is not going to make you a superstar when that chair turns around for you,” she says. “What makes you a superstar is your work ethic and figuring out the artist you want to be ... It catapults you out of the cannon, but it's your job to keep yourself flying, to keep yourself out there and make a name for yourself.

"It's been five years since I've been on The Voice and I'm just now starting to get a break and that says a lot.”

RaeLynn enjoyed mild success with songs like “Boyfriend” and “God Made Girls,” but they didn't drive her career forward. Then she sang  “Love Triangle,” a heartbreaking piece about a child’s perspective on divorce. The song served as the lead single for WildHorse and helped propel the album to number one on the Billboard Country Albums Chart.

"I flipped my shit, excuse my French,” RaeLynn says about finding out her album went number one. “It’s just crazy. I said, 'Thank you, Jesus' and then I cussed. Like that's me. When you've been waiting to put out a record for so long and you been praying that it would do well and then it does well, it's nerve-wracking and it's exciting all at the same time.

For a budding artist, rejection is painful. "This record is so personal for me. If they didn't like it, they wouldn't like me," she says."The fact that people are loving it means the world to me.”

Among her most personal songs is "Praying For Rain,” which she wrote when she was just 17.  "It's a song I wrote right when I moved to Nashville about my heart and living a town that I didn't know anybody," she says. "I was just talking to God, praying for rain every night. It's just a really special song to me.”
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner