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Are The Voice Coaches Dan + Shay Brothers?

Let's take a closer look at the relationship between the country stars.

By Matthew Jackson

Dan + Shay feel sort of inseparable if you only know them from their time on The Voice or their work as one of the most popular country acts in the world right now. After all, it's right there in the name. They're a duo, they stick together, and their live performances are so seamless that it feels like they've been doing it forever, even if their professional career only stretches back a little more than a decade.

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Watch The Voice on NBC and Peacock. 

RELATED: How Do Dan + Shay Decide to Push Their Button on The Voice

All of this is enough to make the uninitiated ask a very common sense question: Are Dan + Shay brothers? Or related at all? Let's take a closer look.

Are Dan + Shay Brothers?

The short answer is, simply, no. Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney are not brothers. They're not related in any way, and they're not childhood friends. What they are is a duo that met by chance, started playing together, and realized they had something special.

According to the pair, they first met in December of 2012 at a house party thrown at Smyers' Nashville home. In an interview with Taste of Country in 2013, Mooney recalled the house very clearly as a "typical Nashville starting-artist house," with one very distinctive feature.

"I'm walking into the living room, and there is just a tent ... it was borderline fort-ish," Mooney recalled.

Smyers added by way of explanation, "I had no money to pay for heat, so I went to the thrift store and bought a bunch of sheets. [We] tented out the whole living room, and we retained all the heat in there."

It was in this somewhat odd, money-saving living room setup that Smyers and Mooney first played music together, and instantly felt a kinship and chemistry.

We all just hung out, huddled around," Smyers said. "Shay and I were jamming that night, and we've been writing three songs a day every since."

So there you have it. Not brothers or longtime friends, but two guys who figured out they had something special the moment they met. Less than a year later, Dan + Shay had their first major single on the radio, and the rest is history. 

Dan + Shay appear in Season 25 Episode 1of The Voice

Navigating the Rough Patches

Of course, pushing two guys close together like that is bound to come with some level of adversity, and Dan + Shay say they have also faced their fair share of conflicts as collaborators and friends. In 2021, after a successful tour, the two spent months apart, not speaking, when the pressures of the road and their Grammy-winning success got to them. 

"Being in a duo is the toughest configuration. We always say, there's two people. Everything's 50/50. When you're in a trio, there's always a tie breaker. When you're in a group, its chaos. But in a duo you have to go out of your way to work on it. Like a marriage. And time gets in the way, and if you're not actively working on it, things can go by the wayside," Smyers explained to Carson Daly last year.

He added, "I can feel the closeness of our relationship and our friendship when I listen back to the music. We are by far, a million times, the closest we've ever been for so many reasons, but because we worked at it. That makes what we're doing now infinitely sustainable. I could do this the rest of my life with [Mooney]."

The Voice airs Mondays at 8/7c on NBC, and streams the next day on Peacock.