Jordan Smith (musician)

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith (musician).JPG
Performing in 2017.
Background information
Birth name Jordan Mackenzie Smith
Born (1993-11-04) November 4, 1993 (age 24)
Whitley County, Kentucky
Genres
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments
Years active 2015–present
Labels Republic
Website jordansmithofficial.com

Jordan Mackenzie Smith (born November 4, 1993)[1] is an American singer and musician from Harlan, Kentucky. Smith began singing in his church choir and continued through his college education at Lee University where he was a member of the Lee Singers.

In 2015 he gained national recognition when he won season nine of the singing competition The Voice, during his time on The Voice he was the show's first artist of the season to reach No. 1 in sales of pop songs in the iTunes Store, and set new sales marks on Billboard charts. Three of his performance recordings each bumped Adele's platinum-selling "Hello" from the top sales spot at iTunes.

Early life[edit]

Jordan Smith was born on November 4, 1993,[2] in Whitley County, Kentucky,[3] to Kelley and Geri Smith (née Saylor), both of whom are musicians. They raised him in the church choir at a young age, in the congregation of House of Mercy in the town of Wallins Creek, Kentucky.[4] Smith graduated from Harlan County High School.[4]

In 2012, he won the Poke Sallet Idol competition at the annual Poke Sallet festival.[5]

Smith attended Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, and was a member of the university's Lee Singers.[6]

Career[edit]

The Voice[edit]

Smith came to national attention in 2015 during his participation on season nine of NBC's The Voice, his audition performance of "Chandelier" led all four coaches to turn their chairs; Smith chose to be part of Adam Levine's team after Levine told him, "I think you're the most important person that's ever been on this show."[4][a]

Smith had auditioned for the show once before and was rejected. Even when he was accepted for the show, he had his doubts until the reactions started pouring in. "I [thought], 'Wow, people see something in me that honestly I didn't think was there.' I thought maybe I had fooled everyone! It took a lot of convincing for me to finally start seeing myself as a performer and artist." Smith said it was his performance of "Halo" during the live playoffs that allowed him to believe he had "something to say as an artist."[8] According to Slate, Smith was dubbed "the unicorn" during the show because his voice is "genderless and expansive ... as ambiguous as it is precise, quickly scaling and spelunking through octaves, never anything but perfectly on pitch."[9]

For week two of the live shows, Smith began "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" by singing a cappella, then accompanied himself on piano;[10] the performance made Smith the first artist of the season to reach No. 1 in sales in the iTunes Store, ahead of "Hello" by Adele.[11] "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" landed on the Billboard magazine charts as well; it placed at No. 30 on the Hot 100, and was No. 1 on the Christian Songs chart for two straight weeks.[12] He was again No. 1 on Christian Songs with his recording of "Hallelujah", which entered the Hot 100 chart at No. 61.[13]

Smith chose Queen's "Somebody to Love" for his semi-final song, after the performance, Levine commented, "I don't need to say anything at all because that's one of the best things I've ever seen in my entire life."[b] Within 30 minutes, the single was the best selling song in the iTunes Store, knocking "Hello" from the top spot for a second time.[7]

"Mary, Did You Know?" was Smith's choice for the final competition show. It became his second consecutive performance to reach the top of the iTunes Store, bumping "Hello" a third time.[11][14][c] For the results finale, Smith teamed up with Usher and sang David Guetta's "Without You". At the end of the broadcast, Smith was declared the winner of season nine, earning US$100,000 and a Republic Records recording contract.[5]

  •      Studio version of performance reached the top 10 on iTunes
Stage Song Date Order Result
Blind Auditions "Chandelier" September 21 1.6 All four chairs turned;
joined Team Adam
Battle Rounds (Top 48) "Like I Can" (vs. Regina Love) October 12 7.1 Saved by Coach
Knockout Rounds (Top 32) "Set Fire to the Rain" (vs. Viktor Király) October 26 11.6
Live Playoffs (Top 24) "Halo" November 9 15.12 Saved by Public Vote
Live Top 12 "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" November 16 18.11
Live Top 11 "Who You Are" November 23 20.9
Live Top 10 "Hallelujah" November 30 22.7
Live Semifinals (Top 9) "Somebody to Love" December 7 24.9
Live Finals (Top 4) "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" December 14 26.1 Winner
"God Only Knows" (with Adam Levine) 26.5
"Mary, Did You Know?" 26.11
Non-competition performances
Song Collaborator(s)
"Diamonds" Amy Vachal, Chance Peña, Blaine Mitchell, Shelby Brown, Keith Semple
"Wouldn't It Be Nice" Amy Vachal and Shelby Brown
"Lean On" Top 24
"Without You" Usher
"Any Way You Want It" Amy Vachal, Evan McKeel, Korin Bukowski, Mark Hood and Regina Love

After The Voice[edit]

As of December 2015, Jordan Smith was the highest selling artist ever to compete on The Voice.[15] One week after his victory, Smith made history on Billboard's Christian Songs chart; he became the first artist ever to hold the top two positions concurrently when his cover of "Mary, Did You Know?" overtook "Hallelujah" as the No. 1 song. Smith's version of "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" occupied the No. 8 spot at the same time, making him only the third artist ever to chart three songs in the top 10 simultaneously.[16]

The Voice: Jordan Smith: The Complete Season 9 Collection was released in December 2015,[17] entering the Billboard 200 albums chart at No. 11, earning "Hot Shot Debut" honors.[18] Two tracks from the album debuted in the top ten on the Digital Singles chart; "Mary, Did You Know?" debuted at No. 1.[19]

Upon his return to Kentucky, Smith was named a Kentucky colonel by the secretary of state at a parade in Smith's honor, he was also named the 2015 Kentucky Monthly Kentuckian of the Year.[20] Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley said Smith's win had a huge impact on an area that is struggling to rebuild its economy. "Jordan may have single-handedly reversed negative stereotypes on our region that will help give us an economic bump.[21] In January 2016, Smith was announced as grand marshal of the Kentucky Derby Festival Pegasus Parade in May.[22]

Debut album and performances[edit]

On January 6, 2016, Smith performed "You Are So Beautiful" alongside David Foster at the 42nd People's Choice Awards, during Smith's introduction, it was announced that The Voice took its third consecutive Favorite Competition TV Show award.[23]

The track listing for Smith's debut album was announced in February 2016;[24] Something Beautiful was released on March 18,[25] debuted at No. 2 in sales in the iTunes Store,[26] and took the top spot on March 22.[27] iTunes' staff praised Smith's "fearless, confident singing, which elevates even the simplest phrases into stirring statements."[25] Jake's Take offered a B+ grade for "the connection that Jordan had with each and every individual track that is on Something Beautiful. I hope that for his sophomore attempt, Jordan and the Republic Records team find high quality original material" for Smith,[28] the Knoxville News Sentinel gave the album three stars (out of five) for its "entirely too cautious" approach and "safe but beautiful" songs. Smith's take on "You Are So Beautiful" is "embarrassingly sterilized"; his cover of "Beautiful", however, "is the album highlight as he taps into the life-affirming lyrics with touching gentleness."[29] Brittany Frederick of AXS wrote, "Voice fans who purchase the record won't be disappointed ... but it still feels like the real Jordan Smith has yet to stand up."[30]

Personal life[edit]

Smith proposed marriage to girlfriend Kristen Denny on January 1, 2016. "She's been there every step of the way," he said.[31] They were married on June 25, 2016 in Middlesboro, Kentucky.[32]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
US
[33]
US Holiday
[34]
CAN
[35]
Something Beautiful 2 19
'Tis the Season
  • Released: October 28, 2016
  • Label: Republic Records
  • Format: CD, digital download
11 3 34
"—" denotes a recording that failed to chart or was not eligible.

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Sales Album
US Christ
[38]
US AC
[39]
"Stand in the Light"[40] 2016 11 25 Something Beautiful

Other charted songs[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Christ
[38]
US AC
[39]
"Amazing Grace" 2016 31 Something Beautiful
"You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" 18 'Tis the Season

Releases from The Voice[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
US
[42]
CAN
[35]
The Voice: Jordan Smith: The Complete Season 9 Collection
  • Released: December 15, 2015
  • Label: Republic Records
  • Format: Digital download
11 48

Competition singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Debut week sales
US
[43]
US Christ
[38]
"Halo" 2015 88
"Great Is Thy Faithfulness" 30 1
"Hallelujah" 61 1
"Somebody to Love" 21
"Mary Did You Know" 24 1
"Climb Every Mountain" 72
"God Only Knows"
(with Adam Levine)
90

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ For season 9, the coaches were Levine, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams and Blake Shelton.[4][7]
  2. ^ Moments earlier, Levine had taken the stage to hug Smith and literally declare the performance "a 'drop the mic' moment."[11]
  3. ^ The week before, Smith had missed his third opportunity when "Hallelujah" peaked at No. 2, prompting Levine to complain jokingly about "that pesky Adele."[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elliott, Kevin (December 15, 2015). "Meet Jordan Smith: Harlan Kid and Winner of The Voice". Hamburg Journal. Lexington, Kentucky. Retrieved March 23, 2016. 
  2. ^ Jordan Smtih (JordanSmithLive) (November 4, 2015). "#TeamJordan! In honor of my birthday, I will be doing a fifteen minute Q&A .." Twitter. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  3. ^ McDonnell, Brandy (December 16, 2015). "Video: Jordan Smith wins The Voice, and Republic Records already has his Complete Season 9 Collection available". The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City. Retrieved April 15, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d Copley, Rich (September 26, 2015). "Kentuckian Jordan Smith credits his hometown of Harlan with his success on NBC's 'The Voice'". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Harlan County's Jordan Smith wins 'The Voice'". Lexington Herald-Leader. December 15, 2015. Retrieved December 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ Price, Susan (November 23, 2015). "Who's nervous? Not Lee University's Jordan Smith on 'The Voice'". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Maslow, Nick (December 8, 2015). "The Voice's Jordan Smith Tops Adele on iTunes – Watch His Performance Now!". People. Retrieved December 23, 2015. 
  8. ^ Parker, Lyndsey (December 21, 2015). "The Voice Winner Jordan Smith: 'I Thought I Had Fooled Everyone!'". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved December 22, 2015. 
  9. ^ Showler, Suzannah (December 14, 2015). "The Voice From Above". Slate. Retrieved December 24, 2015. 
  10. ^ Pierce, Susan (November 23, 2015). "Who's nervous? Not Lee University's Jordan Smith on The Voice". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved March 27, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b c d Armstrong, Christy (December 9, 2015). "Jordan Smith makes top 4 on The Voice". Cleveland Daily Banner. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Asker, Jim (November 25, 2015). "Jordan Smith of The Voice, Natalie Grant & Kirk Franklin Net New No. 1s on Christian Charts". Billboard. Retrieved December 24, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Asker, Jim (December 11, 2015). "'The Voice' Finalist Jordan Smith First Artist to Replace Himself at No. 1 on Hot Christian Songs". Billboard. Retrieved December 24, 2015. 
  14. ^ Slezak, Michael (December 14, 2015). "The Voice Season 9 Finale Preview: Can Jordan Be Stopped? We Weigh the Pros and Cons of the Top 4!". TVLine. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  15. ^ Falcone, Dana Rose (December 18, 2015). "Jordan Smith discusses his 'breakthrough moment' on The Voice and when fans can expect an album". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 23, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c d Caulfield, Keith (December 21, 2015). "Voice Winner Jordan Smith Makes Chart History on Hot Christian Songs". Billboard. Retrieved December 23, 2015. 
  17. ^ Campbell, Chuck (December 22, 2015). "'Tuned In' review: Voice winner Jordan Smith is off and running". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved December 23, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Billboard 200". Billboard. January 2, 2016. Retrieved December 25, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Digital Songs". Billboard. January 2, 2016. Retrieved December 25, 2015. 
  20. ^ Asher, Joe P. (December 21, 2015). "Smith Returns Home". The Harlan Daily Enterprise. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  21. ^ Phillips, Jeff (January 25, 2016). "Jordan Smith's impact on Harlan". Kentucky Monthly. Retrieved February 3, 2016 – via The Harlan Daily Enterprise. 
  22. ^ Adams, Kirby (January 30, 2016). "Jordan Smith gets Kentucky Derby Festival gig". The Courier-Journal. Lexington, Kentucky. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  23. ^ Payne, Chris (January 6, 2016). "Jordan Smith Performs 'You Are So Beautiful' With David Foster at the 2016 People's Choice Awards: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  24. ^ Staff (February 12, 2016). "The Voice Winner Jordan Smith Announces Debut Album, Releases First Song "Stand In The Light"". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2016. 
  25. ^ a b "Something Beautiful: Jordan Smith". iTunes. March 18, 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2016. 
  26. ^ Cantor, Brian (March 18, 2016). "Gwen Stefani, Jordan Smith Albums Claim Top Spots On US iTunes Sales Chart". Headline Planet. Retrieved March 18, 2016. 
  27. ^ Pierce, Susan (March 22, 2016). "Jordan Smith's album tops iTunes' pop album chart". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved March 22, 2016. 
  28. ^ Elyachar, Jacob (March 19, 2016). "New Music Releases: Week of March 18, 2016". Jake's Take. Retrieved March 23, 2016. 
  29. ^ Campbell, Chuck (March 22, 2016). "Music review: Jordan Smith plays it too safe on Beautiful". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved March 22, 2016. 
  30. ^ Frederick, Brittany (March 20, 2016). "Album review: The Voice winner Jordan Smith releases Something Beautiful". AXS. Retrieved March 22, 2016. 
  31. ^ Maslow, Nick; Haas, Mariah (January 7, 2016). "The Voice's Jordan Smith: My Fiancée Has Supported Me 'Every Step of the Way' – Even at 'My Worst'". People. Retrieved January 7, 2016. 
  32. ^ Chiu, Melody (June 25, 2016). "The Voice Star Jordan Smith Weds His Longtime Love Kristen Denny". People. Retrieved June 25, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Jordan Smith – Chart history (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Holiday Albums" (The Week Of: December 17, 2016). Billboard. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  35. ^ a b "Jordan Smith – Chart history (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on August 29, 2016. 
  37. ^ Caulfield, Keith (December 1, 2016). "Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Prince's '4Ever' Marks Late Icon's 40th Charting Album". Billboard. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  38. ^ a b c Hot Christian Songs peak positions: "Jordan Smith – Chart History (Christian Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  39. ^ a b "Jordan Smith - Chart history (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved May 24, 2016. 
  40. ^ Billboard Staff (February 12, 2016). "'The Voice' Winner Jordan Smith Announces Debut Album, Releases First Song 'Stand In The Light': Listen". Billboard. Retrieved 22 March 2016. 
  41. ^ "Jordan Smith's "Stand In The Light" Debuts With 9.9K Sales; Impacts Hot AC Radio 3/7". Headline Planet. 22 February 2016. 
  42. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (December 20, 2015). "Adele's '25' Biggest-Selling Album Released Since 2011, Spends Fourth Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved December 24, 2015. 
  43. ^ "Jordan Smith – Chart History (Billboard Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  44. ^ Trust, Gary (December 17, 2015). "Hot 100 Chart Moves: Twenty One Pilots Hit Top 40 With 'Stressed Out'". Billboard. Retrieved December 24, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Sawyer Fredericks
The Voice (U.S.)
Winner

2015 (Fall)
Succeeded by
Alisan Porter
Preceded by
"Please"
The Voice (U.S.)
Winner's song
"Climb Ev'ry Mountain"

2015 (Fall)
Succeeded by
"Down that Road"