Cam Anthony, a 19-year-old R&B phenom from Philadelphia, won the 20th season of The Voice, beating runner-up Kenzie Wheeler and three other finalists with his rendition of Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy.”
Country star Blake Shelton coached Anthony throughout the singing competition and predicted his success after listening to him sing during Monday night’s penultimate episode.
“I want to try to be serious here for just a second and not joke around, because this is a big deal,” Shelton said. “After being on this show 20 seasons, and on the 20th season, God put this young man in my life here on The Voice that may change everything for this show.”
Shelton has spoken publicly about doubting the show’s ability to successfully launch a winner’s singing career, but he’s been adamant all season that Anthony is different.
“You have delivered every time you stand on this stage. I’ve never had more people asking me about an artist on my team,” Shelton said. “You could be the first superstar that we launch off the show.”
Anthony had his first brush with fame as a 12-year-old YouTube star whose covers of Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” and Lorde’s “Royals” got millions of views and attracted attention from music executives and concert promoters.
The Daily News described him at that time as having the sort of vocal power normally reserved for singers twice his age, writing:
But then his career stalled.
The Voice gave him a chance to reintroduce himself to America.
“My situation is quite unique. I started out very young … and then I got stuck,” he explained during one episode. “I feel extremely blessed to start over, basically, on The Voice "
Anthony won $100,000 and a recording contract with Universal Music Group.