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With Miranda Lambert's help, former Voice contestant RaeLynn caps off magical year

With Miranda Lambert's help, former Voice contestant RaeLynn caps off magical year

RaeLynn, The Voice, tree lighting
RaeLynn Photo by Jewel Cole
The Galleria, Christmas tree, tree lighting
The Christmas tree lighting at The Galleria heralds the start of the holiday season Photo courtesy of Simon Property Group
RaeLynn, The Voice, tree lighting
The Galleria, Christmas tree, tree lighting

It was a sad day in the Houston area when Baytown native RaeLynn left season two of The Voice.  

But thanks to some keen songwriting skills, a pair of high-profile mentors and a little music industry magic, 2012 has turned out to be a fantastic year for the 18-year-old country singer, who signed a record contract this summer with Nashville Republic — home of The Band Perry and Martina McBride

Taking a break from the recording studio this weekend, RaeLynn will be performing at the Galleria's Ice Spectacular event on Saturday.

"My blind audition for The Voice only aired last January, if you can believe that. I can hardly believe it myself." 

"This has been a crazy year; it's all been so fast," she laughed during a recent phone interview with CultureMap. "My blind audition for The Voice only aired last January, if you can believe that. I can hardly believe it myself."

Fusing old school Dolly Parton spunk with contemporary pop sensibilities, the singer enjoyed a successful run on Blake Shelton's Voice team until narrowly missing the semifinals in April.

"It was a great experience that I wouldn't trade for the world. I got to showcase the kind of artist I'd like to be and gain all these fans. The best part was that I got to forge this amazing relationship with Blake and Miranda, who are like my big brother and sister now."

"Miranda," of course, is none other than country superstar Miranda Lambert, Shelton's wife and one of RaeLynn's earliest inspirations.

"She's been my favorite singer since I was like 11 years old — no lying — and now she's my mentor. It still kind of blows my mind."

"She's been my favorite singer since I was like 11 years old — no lying — and now she's my mentor. It still kind of blows my mind." 

At some point, RaeLynn worked up the nerve to share some of her own music with Lambert, who'd been asking to hear her original material for months.

"When you write a song, you're always looking for validation. I send her a song and she actually called me on the phone saying 'What the hell, this is amazing.' I seriously almost passed out. That validation just about put me over the moon."

For the next six weeks, RaeLynn said she'll be on a "radio tour," traveling by bus to two and three radio stations each day for performances and interviews. Her first official single drops this January in advance of a forthcoming album due by spring.

The 24th annual Galleria Ice Spectacular and tree-lighting ceremony kicks off the holiday season on Saturday at 6 p.m. The 30-minute event features ice skaters, live musical performances and visit from Santa himself . . . all at the same time.