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Music

Teen country singer Chevel Shepherd named 'The Voice' winner

| Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, 8:03 a.m.
This photo provided by NBC shows 'The Voice' finalist, Chevel Shepherd, left, for season 15, and singer Kelly Clarkson Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, in Universal City, Calif.
Trae Patton/NBC via AP
This photo provided by NBC shows 'The Voice' finalist, Chevel Shepherd, left, for season 15, and singer Kelly Clarkson Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, in Universal City, Calif.
Chevel Shepherd hugs coach Kelly Clarkson after winning 'The Voice' on Dec. 18, 2018.
Chevel Shepherd hugs coach Kelly Clarkson after winning 'The Voice' on Dec. 18, 2018.

Sixteen-year-old Chevel Shepherd became the sweetheart of NBC's vocal competition "The Voice." She was crowned the winner of the competition Tuesday night.

Shepherd made it to the top four by singing country music in a style being compared to Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton, with a contemporary twist. Her win also marked the second win in a row for coach Kelly Clarkson.

She beat out Chris Kroeze, Kirk Jay and Kennedy Holmes, who rounded out the top four, respectively.

Clarkson told her, "There are people already banging on our doors for you. Chevel Shepherd could take country music by storm," Clarkson said in the telecast. Clarkson said she always had the song in mind for Shepherd and waited until the finale to showcase all dimensions of the teen singer.

Monday's final performance episode of the season for "The Voice" brought in 9.8 million viewers and ranked No. 1 for the night, matching its best showing since mid-November.

During Monday's show, Shepherd was joined by Clarkson on stage and the duo sang The Judds' 1985 single, "Rockin' With the Rhythm of the Rain."

Among the special guests on Monday's show, Pittsburgh's own Dan + Shay.

And for her final song, Shepherd sang an original tune "Broken Hearts."

McAnally is a force in country music, having written for country heavy hitters such as Miranda Lambert, Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan, among others.

"I almost wanted to record it, but I couldn't make this record at the time," Clarkson told Shepherd in the recording studio. "I thought this needs to go to someone special and then you came along."

Clarkson said the song is a beautiful story and is the kind of storytelling she enjoys about country music.

"I like telling a story and relating to the lyrics," Shepherd said. "Even if I've never had my heart broken before."

Coach Adam Levine praised Shepherd after her performance of "Broken Hearts."

"A great vocal and great music doesn't need much, just a straightforward performance," Levine said. "I adore performances like that. Your voice is instantly identifiable."

Nearly 24 hours after the airing, Shepherd's single, "Broken Hearts," charted at No. 1 on iTunes.

Her other two songs were ranked at No. 10 and No. 18, respectively.

And last week's single, "Blue," is charted at No. 23.

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