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Newport high school graduate joins Team Gwen on NBC's 'The Voice'

A Newport high school graduate has earned a slot on Season 12 of NBC’s “The Voice.”

Troy Ramey, 32, who previously lived in Rhode Island but now resides in New York, performed on the reality singing show Monday night. He sang “Wild World” by Cat Stevens.

While all four celebrity coaches turned their chairs in hopes of scoring Ramey as a member of their team, he selected pop star Gwen Stefani.

“What I related to -- what woke me up -- was your attention to the lyric of that song,” Stefani told Ramey during the show. “It was like it was your song.”

Ramey said he decided to perform the song because it was one of his father’s favorites. He described his dad as one of his biggest musical influences.

“It means a lot to me and the emotion in the song is something that I definitely feel I connect to,” Ramey said. “There’s a piece of my dad with me whenever I perform. I think he would be incredibly proud today.”

But there’s more to the story.

“My senior year of high school, we found out that my dad was sick with throat cancer,” said Ramey, who graduated from Rogers High School in 2003. “He battled for about two years and ultimately passed away in October of 2004. After my dad passed, I got his guitars and started playing in a band.”

While the band was together about five years, Ramey later decided to pursue a solo career.

“I wanted to try to do something on my own,” he said. “I’m 32 years old and I finally realized that this is exactly who I am. I need ‘The Voice’ to tell as many people as I can.”

Stefani, along with the shows other coaches, Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys and Adam Levine, praised Ramey’s voice.

“Your voice is so tender,” Stefani said. “You actually moved me today.”

Levine and Keys shared similar sentiments.

“You just absolutely came out here and showed all of us you are a major contender to win this thing,” Levine said, while Keys added, “I think when you hear such classic music and then a voice to match, it’s an incredible feat.”

Meanwhile, Shelton offered unconventional compliments.

“You sing like a man,” Shelton said. “I love it when I hear a voice like that. It’s really just the strength of your voice.”

But Ramey ultimately picked Stefani, who will be coaching him going forward.

“He’s the real deal and he loves music and understands how meaningful it is and respects it,” Stefani said. “That’s exciting to me because I feel the same way.”

"The Voice" airs on NBC 10.


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