Danielle Bradbery won The Voice when she was 16 years old, becoming the youngest artist to win the singing competition at the time. Still in high school, Bradbery's life changed dramatically, which means she has a firsthand opinion on what it takes for a young artist hoping to get into the music business. Speaking to PopCulture.com and other media recently, Bradbery reflected on her start, sharing the advice she would give her younger self as well as other teens.
"I actually think about this all the time because I think about, 'What would I tell myself looking at 16-year-old Danielle?'" she said. "I'm like, 'You have no idea, first of all, what's going on.' And no one does when you're going into something like that. I was not sure where I was being taken. And then I went on a TV show and kept going and then won the whole thing. It's crazy and not a lot of people do that."
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"What people forget is I was that normal, not popular girl in school," Bradbery pointed out. "I actually was not good in school. And I tell my fans that are around the same age, and they're like, 'Wait, really?' Because they look and they're like, 'Oh, she was a popular girl. And she had everything. She was in choir, in theater, and sports, and everything you think of, cheerleader.' And I'm like, 'I was in none of that.'"
She added to "whoever that's trying to do it, just be true to who you are and don't let anybody either in the industry or around you tell you who you should be or should look like. I feel like that really matters. And that's where you can get lost within yourself. And that's such a scary place to be. And that's what I would tell myself, in the beginning, is just be extra careful and stay true to who you are."
Eight years after winning The Voice, Bradbery has released two albums, the first in 2013 and the second in 2017, and is currently working on new music. The 24-year-old has "learned so much" throughout her time in the spotlight and shared that she would tell other young hopefuls to go after their dreams despite their fear.
"I've been very blessed to continue that for myself, but I would say that to somebody trying to start it, go and do it and being shy does not stop you," she said. "I was painfully shy and it seems like in the moment you can never do it, but I promise you can. Because I'm living proof of that. I could never sing in front of anybody, whether you begged me or not, you would never get anything out of me. So it's possible, stay true to who you are and just have fun, and live in the moment."