It may be the No. 1 show week after week, but The Voice has one very obvious downside for its contestants: None have really "made it" in the way that American Idol alums Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood have.
That hasn't been lost on the show's superstar coaches either. Adam Levine recently admitted to Billboard, "Eventually, The Voice is going to have to launch somebody into the stratosphere to continue to be taken seriously."
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So, how have the show's winners done since millions watched and voted for them? Ahead of an exciting Season 10 premiere this week that will bring back original coach Christina Aguilera after two seasons away, we take a look back at how the show's champs have performed thus far on the charts, on the road and beyond.
In 2011, America decided The Voice was its new favorite reality show and crowned super-smooth R&B-pop singer Javier Colon its inaugural winner. In that first season, finalists recorded original singles that fans could buy on iTunes as an extra vote. Colon's debut release "Stitch by Stitch," produced by Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, hit No. 17 on the Hot 100 that week. The Voice had a hit single!
Colon's debut album Come Through for You came later that year on Universal Republic, peaking at a not-so-great No. 134 on the Billboard 200, and didn't produce any other hits, despite snagging Natasha Beddingfield for lead single "As Long as We Got Love."
What's somewhat embarrassing about all this is that the show's runner-up, Dia Frampton, actually saw her Red album chart higher and sell better than Colon's debut when it was released less than a month later.
Colon parted ways with Universal Republic, and is planning an album for 2016, Gravity, on indie label Concord Records.
After proving itself a ratings win for network NBC, The Voice saw big-voiced soul man Jermaine Paul win Season 2. Curiously, the New York native, who once sang back-up for Alicia Keys, went in a dance-pop direction with his first solo release "I Believe in This Life" (above). Perhaps losing momentum by dropping six months after his win, the single failed to gain any traction on the charts.
Fast forward nearly two years to today, and Paul's debut album is still unreleased despite the fact that he won a record deal on the show. Meanwhile, third runner-up Chris Mann dropped his debut album Roads, has held his own solo tours and even had his own PBS special last Christmas.
While The Voice gets crap for not creating superstar, they've actually done quite well with Cassadee Pope. The singer snagged a Top 40 hit with debut single "Wasting All These Tears" which was eventually certified platinum. Meanwhile, she picked up four more hits on Billboard's Hot Country Song chart with tracks from her Frame By Frame LP. That album debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200, the first Top 10 entry for a Voice contestant, and No. 1 on Country Albums with 43,000 copies sold.
The 25-year-old went on to have her own documentary show on CMT and win Breakthrough Video of the Year at the CMT Music Awards. She opened for Rascal Flatts' latest tour and is currently playing on Tim McGraw's Sundown Heaven Town Tour.
Plus, with more than 500,000 Twitter followers, a sophomore album previewed by new track "I Am Invincible," and a hot Top 20 country duet with Chris Young "Think of You," there's a lot of people still rooting for Cassadee.
Country cutie Danielle Bradbery is one of the youngest Voice winner ever, and she's found marginally more success than most of the show's contestants. With her debut single "The Heart of Dixie" out less than a month after winning, the then 16-years-old, Texas native signed with Taylor Swift's label Big Machine Records. While not a top-charting smash, the single hit a respectable No. 58 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 16 on Hot Country Songs. Her self-titled debut album sold 41,000 copies in its first week, peaking at No. 19 on the Billboard 200.
Bradbery also hit the touring circuit (opening for Brad Paisley's 2013 summer tour), was a finalist in Fuse's 2013 Best New Artist competition and had her song "My Day" featured in promos for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Her sophomore album is previewed by the excellent country-pop hit "Friend Zone," which just missed the Top 40 on the Hot Country Songs chart.
Like all the other Voice champs, there were big hopes for the Jamaica-bred Tessane Chin and her debut single "Tumbling Down," produced by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder. But her Count on My Love album debuted at No. 41 on the Billboard 200 selling only 7,000 copies—aka the lowest sales numbers for a Voice winner to date.
Still, the 28-year-old has gathered some notable experiences post-Voice including performing at the White House alongside Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle and Ariana Grande as well as covering Whitney Houston, duetting with Ne-Yo at a 2014 McDonald's owners event, as well on the 2015 Daytime Emmy Awards.
Chin is said to be working on a sophomore album on a new, indie label.
Just four months after being crowned champ, the Season 6Voice winner made an unprecedented move to forgo the recording studio and hit the stage. The Broadway stage, that is.
In late 2014, soulful singer Josh Kaufman announced he's set to star in Pippin during the theater world's lucrative holiday season. The Team Usher contestant was in good company, though, joining American Idol alums like Fantasia, Diana DeGarmo and Justin Guarini who all found theater success on Broadway.
There is little news about Kaufman's debut album.
Things started off strong for the Texas country singer with his debut single "My Baby's Got a Smile on Her Face" zooming to No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, a 65-date national tour plus a performance at the Grand Ole Opry.
But the Team Blake contestant found trouble with his record labels, Universal Republic and Dot Records, asking to be released from Dot. His later relaeses have been independent and he has yet to release a post-Voice LP.
Winning at age 15, Sawyer Fredericks is the youngest Voice champ to date. The Newtown, Conn. native broke iTunes records for the show when nine of his releases reached the Top 10 of iTunes' Top Songs chart.
His debut EP, featuring a modern-folk sound heard in the single "Take iIt All," bowed at No. 49 on the Billboard 200 when it was released in November 2015. Not amazing, but not bad at all considering the fate of other Voice winners.
Inspirational Kentucky singer also made chart history during his time on The Voice. He was the first artist to hold both the No. 1 and 2 spot on Hot Christian songs with his covers of "Mary, Did You Know" and "Hallelujuah."
After winning, Smith has said he's eager to release music quickly, and made good on that promise by releasing new single "Stand in the Light" on February 11, with his debut album Something Beautiful coming March 18.
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