Tanner Linford, a 17-year-old student at Davis High School, is living proof of his own advice: “If, at first, you don’t succeed keep trying.”
When he didn’t make the cut on NBC’s "The Voice" in his first attempt during a previous season, Linford took the judges’ advice, polished his act and came back to try again. This time, country music singer and coach Blake Shelton selected Linford as part of his team just as the Kaysville teen sang his final notes. That moment officially set his dreams into motion.
“Ever since my blind audition aired, I’ve received so much support at my school with people reaching out to me,” Linford said of Utah’s support for his newfound fame. “The people here are amazing. In some places people would try to put you down, but here I’ve received nothing but support.”
Linford, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said that his faith has played a significant role in his life, and explained how he loves to share that faith through music.
“Some of my favorite times I’ve ever sung have been in church,” he said. “There is nothing like the spirit that music can bring.”
With a sister currently serving a full-time mission in Tennessee for the LDS Church, Linford said he plans to serve a mission himself. For now, his experience on "The Voice" is great preparation, already giving Linford opportunities to share his faith and answer questions regarding his religious beliefs on the set in California.
“A lot of people were confused about Mormons,” Linford said. “A lot of people thought we weren’t Christians. They had questions. I was able to share with people what we believe.”
Linford says he hopes to set a good example on the show for his three younger siblings and for youths everywhere that “you can do anything you set your mind to, especially with the help of the Lord.”
The judges on the voices noted the improvement they saw and heard from Linford’s original audition.
“The improvement was really noteworthy,” Maroon 5’s Adam Levine told him after his audition. “There’s so much potential.”
Linford's next television appearance is slated for Oct. 13.
“Never give up on your dreams,” Linford said when asked what his message would be to the people of Utah. “Have faith that God will help you.”
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