The Push of a Button
One audition. Four chairs. A life-changing decision.
Luke Wade stepped on stage at his blind audition for NBC’s “The Voice”in front of four superstar coaches and a studio audience. His jaw-dropping performance of Otis Redding’s “That’s How Strong My Love Is” not only awarded him a four-chair turn around, but also a standing ovation from Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams. After a ruthless battle of words between the coaches to win Wade’s affection, the soul singer from Dublin, Texas decided to join Team Pharrell.
“I feel like it was really pretty special,” Wade said. “I was his first contestant on his first season.”
The special connection between Wade and Williams was showcased week after week, and Wade found himself as the last representative of Team Pharrell on the show. However, Wade was eliminated in the quarterfinals, just two weeks shy of the finale.
But for Wade, there was no real defeat. After finishing up “The Voice,” he wasted no time getting back to his normal life. While elimination from the show may have been a setback for anyone else, Wade took it as an opportunity. The day after his departure from the show, the soul singer hopped on a plane back to Texas and began his post-show life by doing what he does best: performing.
“I played that night, and I’ve been basically on a stage ever since,” he said.
Before landing a spot on the Emmy-winning singing competition, Wade was gearing up for the release of his newest album, “The River.” But when the show came knocking, he temporarily put his touring plans on hold to embrace the opportunity of a lifetime, knowing he could easily pick up right where he left off once “The Voice” was over.
“I was fortunate to basically be doing what I did on the show before the show. Then as soon as I was done, I had my team in place and an idea of what I wanted to do, and I just hopped right back on it,” Wade said.
Wade’s ability to seamlessly glide back into his pre-show life reveals his dedication and hard-working attitude. It also shows the direct influence of Williams, who taught Wade how to showcase his talents and connect with a television audience.
“As of right now, I have the most active and original career of the folks who were on the season, and I think it’s because of the way Pharrell helped me represent myself on television,” Wade said.
Before “The Voice,” Wade was playing to a couple hundred people every week. After, he transitioned to playing in front of thousands in just one night. One such performance led him to Montgomery to open for Patti LeBelle during a celebratory concert for the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march. Though the stop was a short one for Wade on his multi-city tour, it proved to be a very special performance for the Texas singer and his band, No Civilians. They even wore tuxes in honor of the special celebration.
“It's the kind of thing you dream about being a part of,” Wade said in an interview with AL.com. “You're a part of something that isn't just music and isn't just a show— it's history. Those are the moments, as an artist, that you live for.”
Wade’s stop in Montgomery was only a small part in his full U.S. tour, but he still managed to take a minute between interviews and rehearsals to explore the capital city, naming Aviator Bar, Sinclair’s in Cloverdale and the Riverfront as his favorite visits.
“Hopefully we’ll be back soon with the release of our next album, which we’re not sure when that will be, but we’ll keep you posted." Keep an eye out for Wade’s returto Montgomery, but in the meantime, check out his album, “The River,” which is available on iTunes now.