‘The Voice’: Gene Taylor Scores Four-Chair Turn With ‘Unbelievable’ Journey Audition

No one can sing a Journey number quite like the mighty Steve Perry. Or perhaps Gene Taylor.

Hailing from Vernon, New Jersey, now based in Brooklyn, NY, the 33-year-old Taylor has done the rounds of theater and performed for much of his life. Under the bright lights of NBC’s The Voice on Tuesday night (Feb. 27), he showcased his talents for power and glory.

For Taylor’s blind audition, a cover of Journey’s 1978 song “Lights”. Power, glory.

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John Legend turned first, then Dan +Shay, followed by Reb McEntire and, finally, Chance the Rapper, for a four-chair turn and a standing ovation.

“I always love a tenor who can sing those beautiful big notes,” says Legend, “but also you had finesse. It was just so expertly done as a vocalist.” And with that, Legend launched into his sales pitch. Legend would also identify some classic vocal skills in the mix, a fusion of Nat King Cole with rock.

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“Your voice is unbelievable,” says Shay Mooney of Dan + Shay. “I was just sitting back and enjoying the music for just a second.” Dan Smyers chimed in, “so much power, so much control. You’re a star. We could tell you’re a seasoned pro.”

“I thought it was awesome,” reckons Chance. The reason he was last to turn? “It was because I was really arrested by the performance. Your tone is so different, and I was just really into it. And then I turn and see you and you, like, kind of got this southern vibe to you.” The Chicago rapper is convinced Taylor will “go really far” in the 2024 competition, thanks to his “distinct tone.”

If the The Voice fans and coaches didn’t already love the contestant, he made certain of it when he brought his mom on stage.

A minor hit following its release, “Lights” has enjoyed a second life as inspiration blast for Bay Area sporting franchises. Now, perhaps an unexpected lift after its exposure on The Voice.

“The way you were working the crowd,” notes McEntire following the audition, “that was perfect to go with your beautiful voice.”

So, with any doubts over his talents utterly erased, and all coaches rolling out the welcome mat, it was time for Taylor to make a decision. He chose Legend.

The 25th and latest season of The Voice began Monday. Watch Taylor’s performance below.

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