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Jacksonville singer lights ‘stage on fire’ at ‘The Voice’ blind auditions

Paris Winningham performs on the “Blind Auditions” of "The Voice." (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)
Paris Winningham performs on the “Blind Auditions” of "The Voice." (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC) (2021 NBCUniversal Media, LLC)

Another local talent is making some noise on NBC’s hit singing show “The Voice” this season.

Jacksonville’s Paris Winningham told The Voice judges he spent much of the last decade in the U.S. Navy, but his passion has always been to make music.

In the video featurette about Winningham aired during Tuesday’s Blind Auditions episode, the 32-year-old said he joined the U.S. Navy at age 20 and was able to travel the world as a machinist mate.

“I truly believe that was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said.

But when his Navy career ended in 2017 with an honorable discharge because of a knee injury, it was the push he needed to pursue the music career he’s always wanted.

“To have an opportunity like this, I wouldn’t exchange that for the world,” Winningham said of his chance to audition for the judges.

His rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” grabbed the attention of judges Ariana Grande and John Legend, who both turned their chairs and pitched themselves to be his coach. [Watch Winningham’s performance below]

“You just lit this stage on fire,” Legend said of his performance.

Winningham chose to join Legend’s team, saying “Ariana, I love you, but John, let’s make history.”


About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.