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Lithonia’s Trevin Hunte in final four on ‘The Voice’

Trevin Hunte brings old-school soul, having grown up with Celine Dion, Luther Vandross and Whitney Houston as his inspirations. CREDIT: NBC

Trevin Hunte brings old-school soul, having grown up with Celine Dion, Luther Vandross and Whitney Houston as his inspirations. CREDIT: NBC

Lithonia’s R&B singer Trevin Hunte said he was mocked in high school, told by a teacher he had no future as a singer. At age 16, he attended an “American Idol” audition in New York. He didn’t get past the first round.

But he didn’t give up. About the time he graduated from Lithonia High School this past spring, he tried out for NBC’s third season of “The Voice,” with no more experience than singing at a high school talent show and the chorus. He’s never had formal vocal training. (Of the final four, he has by far the least experience in the music business. Favorite Cassadee Pope was in a pop-punk band that opened for Fall Out Boy and Yellowcard and Terry McDermott toured with a band called Driveblind, signed to A&M Records in 2003.)

Hunte, 18, who moved here from Queens, N.Y. in sixth grade, sang Beyonce’s “Listen” during the blind audition, getting an enthusiastic response from the judges. Three turned their chairs: Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton. He chose fellow metro Atlantan Cee Lo as his coach.

“I felt a real connection with him,” Hunte said. “He is a real genuine person. He’s very loyal. He’s been a great coach.”

Hunte has naturally good vocal instincts, though his stage presence isn’t quite as mannered or dynamic as his more experienced peers.

His taste in music is reflected in many of his bold song choices: “I Will Always Love You.” “When A Man Loves a Woman.” And last week’s impressive “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.”

“I’ve always listened to Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, that type of music,” he said. “I studied their styles and the way they performed. I’ve always been intrigued by that growing . That’s the reason I chose to sing these huge songs. Deep down, I feel I have each and every one of them inside me.”

Indeed, that last performance of that classic Jennifer Holliday song, he said.

“I felt great. I felt so free,” Hunte said. “I felt so confident. Me taking off my jacket, it felt like all the weight and heaviness from my past was taken off, too.”

He still lives in metro Atlanta but plans to move to Los Angeles to see if “The Voice” can superstart his career.

Does Hunte have a chance to win? Given the track record of the last two winners, I’m not sure how much that matters but at least making the final four should give him a realistic foot in the door if he can traverse the mine fields.

On TV
“The Voice,” NBC 8 p.m. Mondays, 8 p.m. Tuesdays

***
First Hollywood rounds begin tomorrow. MJ says groups have been split into two, possibly by gender. There has been no talk of going to Vegas.
***
Siohban Magnus from season 9 will front a new 1990s style band with members of Everclear, Third Eye Blind, Candlebox and Godsmack. Intriguing!
***
NBC’s “Smash” returns February starring Katharine McPhee and new recurring cast member Jennifer Hudson, , who is heavily featured in the trailer. And McPhee’s character gets a new love interest.


***
Season 8 winner Kris Allen releases a new Christmas EP on Monday via iTunes.
***
Double the quirk: Cyndi Lauper performs “Mad World” with Adam Lambert.


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12 comments Add your comment

FM Fats

December 10th, 2012
3:50 pm

Where in Queens is he from?

Rodney Ho

December 10th, 2012
3:51 pm

Jamaica, Queens

SafenSound

December 10th, 2012
4:15 pm

Trevin has a great future ahead of him if he has the right people in his corner and can remain focused. I luved the fact tha Christina Aguilera offered him an olive branch to tour w/her, that’s awesome! Congrats to the young man.

JTesla

December 10th, 2012
4:19 pm

“Siohban Magnus… will front a new 1990s style band…”

Odd. Very odd.

Thanks Rodney.

atticus hoad

December 10th, 2012
6:42 pm

So, Georgia has never been mentioned on the show at all even though he’s spent almost as much time as there as in NY, and the 8th grade teacher that told him he was stupid and would never amount to anything (he whines about in almost every show) was a Dekalb Co. teacher. Great.

Alphonso Dowell

December 10th, 2012
7:49 pm

Hay Trevin do your than man,I from Lithonia to so we praying for you my brother Lithonia in the house.

Pandora

December 11th, 2012
8:14 am

He is a friend of my Son. They went to middle and high school together. He has a great voice. I pray he wins. What a talent!

@atticus hoad

December 11th, 2012
8:15 am

What planet are you from? Georgia WAS MENTIONED on the show. What difference does it make anyway?

Susan

December 11th, 2012
8:23 am

To vote for Trevin, please go to http://www.nbc.com/live-vote/the-voice/register.shtml . That is the official webpage.

SNAPPS

December 11th, 2012
9:14 am

The Voice’s a great show and It’s one of my favorites on primetime. I think Trevin Hunte’s a great singer and he will find success past the show even if he doesn’t win the grand prize. I enjoy being able to watch this show with my wife when I’m not working. I didn’t think The Voice was would be good, but my coworker at DISH told me about it. I checked it out and now I’m enjoying the series and trying to catch up with all the past episodes. I get this recorded along with my other primetime shows using the PrimeTime Anytime feature. I can enable this in my DISH Hopper DVR to record all four networks every night on one TV. I don’t tie up all the TVs and everyone’s happy.

Amanda

December 11th, 2012
9:35 am

TREVIN HUNTE TRULY HAS THE VOICE AND DESERVES TO WIN!!! IT IS TIME WE HAVE A REAL TALENT WIN! GO TREVIN!!

rob

December 13th, 2012
12:44 am

what.???? lame! just saw he’s from atlanta moved there when he was 11 years old… kids got a good voice but he kept claiming queens, why? since he said on the video he found his voice in atlanta in middle school…. why not claim atlanta or the country your family is from rather than queens when you barely lived there? sounds suspect to me that he wanted sympathy from the mean queens teachers rather than give credit to the people that helped him from atlanta…. just wanted the NY vote rather than earning it with his great voice…