By JOSH FRYE
News Sports Writer
Kirk Jay, a rising country music artist who gained notoriety as a contestant on “The Voice,” visited J.U. Blacksher School in Uriah last week to inspire and motivate students.
The Bay Minette native finished third during season 15 of the hit television program. Jay floored judges with his voice, technique and love for country music.
Country superstar Blake Shelton took Jay under his wing during the show as part of Team Blake and helped him reach his full potential.
Now that the show has wrapped, Jay still pursues his career not only as a country artist, but also an inspiration to others who have similar dreams.
The singer uses his experiences to help youth grasp the concept that it doesn’t matter where you are from or how much you have or do not have, every dream is possible.
“To go from Bay Minette to national television changed my entire life,” Jay said. “It happened so quick and I am still on the high. I am grateful to God for the opportunity.”
Jay went from a small-town, poor kid to sharing the stage with some of country music’s greatest stars such as Rascal Flatts, Lonestar and Blake Shelton.
“I cried when I got the opportunity to share the stage with my favorite band, Rascal Flatts,” Jay said. “I couldn’t take it. You idolize these artists and dream of one day being like them and the next second, you’re on national television, sharing a stage with them in front of millions. It was life-changing.”
Even though Jay did not take the top spot in the competition, he quickly became a local and worldwide celebrity.
Jay traveled through several high schools in Monroe County last week. He had a special message for J.U. Blacksher students on not giving up on your dreams.
He shared his life experiences of going without and being poor and how it helped shaped him into the man he has become.
“Being a role model is what God has led me to do,” Jay said. “Not only being able to sing, but inspire youth is what I believe God wants me to do. It is not about how you start or what kind of life situations that you may experience, it’s about having dreams and knowing that you can achieve whatever that you want to do.”