“The Voice” Winner Chevel Shepherd Shares The Advice Kelly Clarkson Gave Her & What’s Next (Exclusive)

The 16-year-old country singer talks winning The Voice, upcoming music plans, and much more!

THE VOICE -- "Live Finale Results" Episode 1519B -- Pictured: Chevel Shepherd -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

NBC’s The Voice has a new winner! Chevel Shepherd, the 16-year-old country singer from New Mexico who captivated America’s heart, was officially crowned Season 15’s “voice” on Tuesday night (December 18).

Shepherd has been singing since she was just two and has spent her entire life honing her voice by singing whenever she was given the chance. Her website slogan “Singing isn’t just my dream, it’s my reality” is an accurate portrayal of this young girl’s dream from a small town.

As for her coach Kelly Clarkson, she has officially earned back-to-back victories with Season 14 and 15. In fact, during the blind auditions, Clarkson praised Shepherd for her vocal resemblance to Dolly Parton, even acknowledging that she saw herself in the young singer.

Celeb Secrets spoke to Chevel about her experience on The Voice, the best advice she received from Kelly Clarkson, her original song “Broken Hearts,” her dream collaborations and much more. Keep reading to learn all about her musical journey!

Celeb Secrets: What was going through your mind when you heard your name?

Chevel Shepherd: “Oh, honestly, it was crazy! I didn’t know what to expect from the beginning, and here I am… It was crazy but I feel very blessed!”

CS: You also made history by being the first country singer to win that was not in Blake’s Team. What was the biggest takeaway or lesson you learned from being on Kelly’s team?

Chevel Shepherd: “I learned to always be myself and always have fun and not worry about winning or losing. No matter what, always give it your best and share yourself with the world and who you are.”

CS: How do you feel you’ve blossomed as a performer from being on The Voice?

Chevel Shepherd: “I feel like The Voice helped me be more open on the stage and to connect with the audience much more. I also feel that I’ve grown as an artist, a performer and learned how to move on stage more comfortably.”

CS: So you’re from Farmington, New Mexico. How do you think your hometown inspired you to be who you are?

Chevel Shepherd: “Everyone from back home has been super supportive throughout this journey and they’re all so proud. I can’t wait to see them when I get back home.”

CS: You also recorded your first original song “Broken Hearts.” What was the experience like being in the studio for the very first time?

Chevel Shepherd: “It was so awesome! Kelly [Clarkson] was actually going to record but she didn’t think she was right for it. She was waiting for the perfect person to come along and she gave the song to me, which I thought was really awesome! I’m honestly just so honored to be given this song by someone so incredible.”

CS: How was your connection between Kelly Clarkson and yourself?

Chevel Shepherd: “Kelly [Clarkson] is like a big sister to me. She’s so supportive and she was always there for me. She was always making sure I was okay and wants to see everyone succeed. I love that about her!”

CS: What’s next for you? Would you like to do an album?

Chevel Shepherd: “Yeah, new music will be on the way but right now, I’m going to go home and be a normal teenager for a little bit. But after that, I’m going to start working with Kelly [Clarkson] on my first album and I want to start doing shows across the world too.”

CS: Who are your dream collaborations that you would love to do in the future?

Chevel Shepherd: “Yeah, I have quite a few from Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, and Miranda Lambert.”

CS: Aside from yodeling, what other secret talents do you have that we may not know about you?

Chevel Shepherd: “Well… I can do really good animal impressions. I love animals so I can a really good dog and horse (laughs).”

CS: Lastly, what advice do you have for anyone who would like to audition for The Voice or follow their dreams overall?

Chevel Shepherd: “I would definitely tell them to follow their dreams and not let anything get in the way. Whatever your heart desires go for it and don’t ever give up. Have fun and stay positive!”

Written by Lupe LLerenas

Lupe LLerenas formerly known as 'Lupe Looove' has built her work around all things entertainment. She loves writing, listening to music and discovering new things. When she's not prepping for an interview, chasing a story on social media or covering an event, you can find Lupe roaming the streets of Los Angeles with her phone in hand. Stay connected with Lupe on all social media platforms @LupeLLerenas.