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Music icon John Legend said he has never turned his chair as a judge on NBC’s “The Voice” for someone who sings one of his songs.
That changed 30 seconds into 22-year-old Victor Solomon’s audition.
NBC teased a preview on the show’s Twitter account Friday ahead of the new season, which airs Monday night. The 6-minute video shows Solomon belting the lyrics to Legend and Common’s award-winning song “Glory” from the 2014 motion picture Selma. Legend was one of three judges who turned their chairs for him, signaling their love of his voice.
“I have literally zero times turned for someone singing my song,” Legend said afterward.
Solomon is a senior at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, one of the largest Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the country. He told the judges he grew up singing Legend’s songs — even winning an 8th grade talent show with “Ordinary People.”
Country music star Blake Shelton was first to turn his chair as Solomon sang the opening verse. Nine seconds later, Legend followed. Pop singer Nick Jonas was the last to hit his button about a minute into the audition.
Though former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson didn’t turn, she said after “there were a lot of times where I was like, ‘Is this John singing?’”
“He’s better than me,” Legend replied.
Shelton, it turns out, didn’t know Legend wrote “Glory” and tried to woo Solomon to his team by bringing up fellow gospel singer and Season 18 winner Todd Tilghman, who claimed victory on Shelton’s team. Jonas, meanwhile, mentioned growing up singing in church where his dad was the pastor.
The preview doesn’t show who Solomon ultimately picks as his coach, but his parting words hinted it might be a surprise.
“I think I want to shake things up just a little bit,” he says.