'The Voice' winner Chevel Shepherd reveals what's next after her big win (Exclusive)
Chevel Shepherd is "The Voice!"
The 16-year-old country singer was crowned as season 15's winner on Tuesday night, giving Kelly Clarkson back-to-back wins in her first two seasons as a coach on the NBC singing competition. When AOL's Gibson Johns caught up with Chevel the day after her big win, she said that the win was still "super surreal."
"I had no idea what was going to happen," she told AOL. "And then they called my name, and it was crazy. I feel very blessed, and I'm super thankful because not many teenagers get the opportunity to do this."
She may not have known that she was going to win, but Chevel did display a work ethic and confidence in her own singing ability and point of view as an artist throughout the competition that was well beyond her years. She credits her coach, Kelly, with keeping her focused on what really mattered, which was being herself.
"Kelly has always told me to be myself to show the audience and the world who I really want to be as an artist, and I really took that," she explained. "I had a lot of fun on the stage, and I wasn’t worried about winning; I was just showing them my authentic, true self and I’m glad that they loved it."
"I really focused on where I came from and who got me to where I am," she added. "America voted me through, and it feels really good having the love and support behind me, knowing that the coaches enjoy what I’m doing, too. It makes me feel very blessed."
With the competition in her rearview mirror, Chevel, who cites Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and Carrie Underwood as her biggest inspirations in country music, is ready to take on the music industry. When we asked what kind of music we can expect from her, she pointed to her original song, "Broken Hearts," as a likely indication of the types of songs she'll gravitate towards.
"I really love to tell stories, so I really liked my original. I love relating to lyrics and putting myself in the lyrics and making people feel them, too," she said. "It’s still No.1 on the iTunes chart!"
And, yes, we can expect an album from her sometime next year.
"I’m definitely working on an album with Kelly," she said with excitement. "It’s going to be a country classics album, so I’m super excited for that. I want to just travel the world and share my passion for country music with everyone. I can't wait for what the future brings."