For 10 seasons of American Idol, fans in search of a gay superstar have almost always had to wait until a contestant was kicked off for him to come out — even when the guyliner, teased hair, and viral videos of same-sex lip locks made it pretty obvious.
There’s no need to wait on NBC’s new vocal competition, The Voice. The show boasts four gay contestants — two men and two women — heading into the battle round, where they will be coached by the likes of Blake Shelton, Cee Lo, Christina Aguilera, and Adam Levine. And while a couple of them might be eliminated in the next few weeks (in the battle round, teams of eight are whittled down to four when teammates face each other in a sing-off), chances that there will be a lesbian or gay singer competing to become the first “Voice” are strong.
Meet Vicci Martinez, Nakia, Tyler Robinson, and Beverly McClellan on the following pages. Bios have been taken from NBC's official website for The Voice.
Beverly McClellan — A soulful rock singer with honest lyrics and a raw sound, Beverly plays over 10 instruments and has already released five independent albums. Originally from Virginia, she's worked the clubs and bars around Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for nearly 20 years, always looking for that big break. Coached by: Christina Aguilera
Nakia — Based in Austin, 36-year-old Nakia draws strength from his extended family and inspiration from the memory of his father. Until he passed away in 2009, Nakia's dad encouraged him to follow his dreams. The bluesy singer knows he doesn't look like a typical pop performer, but that doesn't discourage him at all. He realizes that on The Voice, all that matters is how he sings. Coached by: Cee Lo
Vicci Martinez — At only 26 years of age, this bluesy soul singer from Seattle has already opened for or shared the stage with notables such as Sting, Annie Lennox, B.B. King, the Doobie Brothers, Etta James, and Jonny Lang. She draws strong support from her family — and the memory of her father, who passed away five years ago. Coached by: Cee Lo
Tyler Robinson — Raised in Idaho and Brazil, 20-year-old Tyler Robinson has always been just a little different. Superstitious, gay, and Mormon, the performer is also passionate about tap dancing and musical theater. He's determined to make a successful career as a musician, and with the support of his mom and coach Blake Shelton, he's got a great shot. Coached by: Blake Shelton