‘The Voice’ Winner Huntley on the Longest Minute of His Life

It’s been a long road down which Huntley has been chasing his dreams of a career in the music business, but his Tuesday night win of Season 24 of The Voice brings him one step closer to making the dream a reality.

From his Blind Audition to his finale duet with coach Niall Horan, Huntley has soared through his performances. And while many viewers at home could see early on that he was bound to be the winner, the 33-year-old rock singer from Fredericksburg, Va., wasn’t so sure-even when it was just him and 16-year-old country singer Ruby Leigh left on The Voice stage waiting for host Carson Daly to announce the winner.

“It’s insane because I honestly was more prepared for the no than I was for the yes,” he tells Parade in this interview the morning after. “I just was so unsure how everything was going to go, but it was definitely the longest minute of my life, I’ll tell you that.”

Huntley’s win also gives his coach back-to-back wins, and he credits Niall with helping steer him to his triumph.

“I think that every song choice that Niall picked was perfect and I’m super grateful,” he says. “I don’t think that I would be here right now if he wouldn’t have picked the choices that I might have not gravitated toward because I see that he pushed me, but I still was able to represent myself pretty well.”

Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC
Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC

The next step for Huntley is some much deserved “me” time and some time with his kids, daughter Stella, 7, and a son born in 2021 whose name has not been released, but then in the New Year, he will meet with executives from the record label and urge them to let him stay true to who he is.

“I think the main thing is that I understand that it doesn’t matter if I’m signed to a record label or not, but I’m hungry and I’m not going to be quiet, so no matter what they try to do to me, I am big, blond, blue-eyed and beautiful, so I’m going to come out here and sing my heart out,” he says. “This show is definitely giving me a platform and it gave me so many fans that I just feel like it would be disrespectful to them if I just sat there and didn’t do anything about my own career, so I think it’s just going to come down to what I do.”

Related: Did Huntley Cinch His Win of The Voice With Last Night’s Performance of “Higher”?

Also during our conversation, Huntley talked about balancing music with his kids, starting work as The Voice winner with a performance at the Buffalo Bills-L.A. Chargers game, and what he wants to do first now that the competition is over.

Has it sunk in this morning? Have you really realized the fact that you are the winner of The Voice?

No. To be honest no. I am so immensely grateful. This is unbelievable and I’m so grateful and I feel so blessed. I just can’t believe this moment right now. It’s insane.

You’ve been chasing this dream for a really long time. Is this the next step for you? Do you feel like no more dive bars and holes in the walls? Is this going to elevate you?

I’m always down to come and play in my hometown and play a little hole in the wall, but I just feel like my heart is calling me to bigger things. The amount of support and messages from people that have felt inspired from what I do has driven me to want to make this a global thing. As much as I love like my hometown, I think that I’m ready to go and show the world what I have.

You are a father with a daughter and a son. If you leave, are they going to be able to move with you? How is this going to affect your family life?

I definitely think that right now I’m just going to try to be present and just be very grateful that I have this opportunity and when we get there, I’ll figure that out. But right now, I think that the most important thing is that I’ve showed my kids that you can follow your dream, that if you put in the hard work-I haven’t even talked to my daughter or my son yet-I just want to show that you can work hard for your dreams. I think that no matter which way that my life directs toward, my kids are definitely No. 1. Music is a big part of my life, especially now with winning this competition, but my kids from day one have been No. 1 and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and the drive they give me.

Related: Watch the Four-Chair Turn Singer That Captivated The Voice Coaches From His First Note

Do you have songs that you’ve written that are ready to go? You’re probably going to get the opportunity to write with bigger name songwriters.

I am definitely open to working with songwriters. I think having a little outside perspective sometimes when you’re singing songs is a very beautiful thing, but I have a lot of songs that I’ve worked on for many years. Being a 33-year-old that hasn’t really made his mark yet on the industry, I have a lot of songs that I feel could touch people’s hearts.

This season there were 24 four-chair turns, but for me, after your Blind Audition, I always knew it was you. That said, you chose Niall as your coach. What was his contribution to your winning the show?

I think that he really taught me to have patience with a song and really tell the story before I get to all the bells and whistles.

You said to me on Monday night that you wanted to make it to the Top 5 so that you could do a duet with Niall. Did that live up to your expectations?

That was insane. If not my No. 1 moment on the show, I don’t even know where to really set it. But I’m going to tell you that was really genuine and cool, and I think it was a really good way for me to say goodbye to a buddy.

Do you think you’ll stay in touch with Niall?

Oh, yeah, definitely. Yeah, 100 percent. Niall’s a real guy. As much as I want to keep in touch with him, I also know that he’s about to start another tour, 30 different countries. You got to give the guy some respect.

So, the work’s going to start for you this weekend. You’re going to be performing this weekend at the Buffalo Bills-L.A. Chargers game.

Let’s go! That is insane. That is as cool as winning The Voice. I’m also going to be performing six minutes on the halftime, so it’s literally a dream come true.

The National Anthem is not an easy song to sing. Do you have your own version of it?

Oh, yeah. Definitely. I would say I’m definitely a patriot and I love my country and the National Anthem has always been a really strong song to my heart. It’s a song that has always made me stop and just be in the present rather than just listening to a song, so I’m 100 percent excited to sing my version for the National Anthem.

And the other six minutes, will those be songs from the show or from your repertoire?

I’m not going to talk too much specifically on that but we’ll see what happens. I think maybe we’ll play some original and maybe some from the show as well.

What do you want to do next that you’ve been missing the whole time that you’ve been on The Voice?

First of all, I’m definitely going to take some me time, but as soon as I can see my kids… I don’t have them this year on Christmas. So, when I get back, I just want to see my kids. My son is growing literally so fast and he’s talking in full sentences now. When I left that was not the case.

It’s crazy, even the last episode, you saw me looking at the TV and my son singing the words on the TV, it just hit a soft spot. I’ve sacrificed a lot to get here. It’s all good. It’s been a long road. I’m just so grateful and I can’t wait to see my kids.

The Voice Season 25 will premiere Monday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

Next,The Voice Reveals Coaches for Season 25-And There’s an Exciting Twist!

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This story was originally published December 20, 2023, 5:13 PM.

source: star-telegram

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