Rod Stokes is the only artist left on Kelly Clarkson’s team going into the semifinals on The Voice, but he’s actually been on TWO other teams before getting to this point. During the blind auditions, Rod chose Blake Shelton as his coach, even though Adam Levine and John Legend both also turned around. However, Blake eliminated him during the battle rounds, and Adam used a steal to snatch him up. Rod went against John’s artist, Maelyn Jarmon, during the live cross battles, and America chose Maelyn as the winner. At that point, Kelly used her steal to keep Rod in the competition, and he remains one of the final eight standing after America voted for their favorites once again during the top 24 and top 13 and chose him to go through. Here’s more to know about Rod:
1. He was into sports before singing. Rod played various sports while growing up, including football at Vancelave High School and even briefly at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. However, he eventually had to put his football dreams on hold in order to take over his family construction business when his dad got sick. Once football was taken away from him completely, he turned to singing to cope, which is how he began pursuing it in a professional manner.
2. He first started singing in church. Rod’s sister sung in church when the two were kids, but he was too shy to ever participate himself. It wasn’t until he became a senior in high school that he got the courage to sing in front of other people, and he did so for the very first time in church.
3. He had a band before coming onto ‘The Voice’. After Rod decided to take music seriously, he competed in a talent competition called Music Explosion at Wilmer Fist Baptist in Alabama. He got picked to open up for a gospel group, and was asked to create a band in just five-six weeks. He gathered some family and friends to form Rod and Staff, and they spent nine and a half years traveling around the Southeast and playing at churches.
4. He’s married. Rod met his wife, Kimberly Watson, while on the road (he was performing at her church). They were married on Nov. 22, 2014, and he sang a rendition of “Beautiful” as she walked down the aisle. Kimberly has supported Rod throughout his journey on The Voice.
5. He’s recently lost a lot of weight. In the years since Rod married Kimberly, he lost more than 100 pounds!