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Hear the “Impossible Notes” 17-Year-Old Kaylee Shimizu Hit in Her 4-Chair Audition
Shimizu reached new Blind Audition highs with her soulful version of The Beatles’ “Golden Slumbers.”
Kaylee Shimizu might be only 17, but the Hawaii native owned The Voice stage like a full-grown performer in her powerfully soulful Blind Audition. Standing out even among a talented crowd of Season 24 Artists, her huge vocal range — punctuated by “impossible” high notes, as an amazed John Legend put it — earned her a rare and coveted 4-Chair Turn from the Coaches, who pulled out all the stops in their pleas to become her season-long mentoring pick.
Much to the anguish of Season 23 Coaching champ Niall Horan (“Why’d you break my heart like this?!” he begged), Kaylee ended up choosing Team Legend — but not before every one of the Coaches had waged an enthusiastic campaign to win her over to their side. “When I was 17, I had not the imagination to be even thinking about singing like you,” gushed Reba McEntire. “I’ve never heard anybody do what you did on the stage today. It was spiritual to me!”
Raised on the Island of O’ahu among a close-knit a musical family who showed up to cheer her on from the sidelines, Kaylee put her own incredible spin on The Beatles’ “Golden Slumbers,” a song she chose in honor of her late great-grandfather, whom she said had always been one of her biggest musical supporters. “I’ll be thinking about him the whole time I’m on the stage,” she explained. “I’m thinking about him 24/7.”
Kaylee Shimizu sings “Golden Slumbers” by The Beatles for The Voice Season 24 Blind Auditions
Yep, those are some impossibly high notes alright — but it wasn’t just Kaylee’s ability to reach Mariah Carey levels of soaring soprano that bowled the Coaches over. “I absolutely am blown away by you,” admitted Gwen Stefani. “Your vibrato — it’s so slow in, like, a wave… and it feels like you have so much control over that. I’ve never heard anything like that before, and I think it’s because you are so young and free — to be able to have the stage now to do it on was probably fueling your fire more. I could feel it!”
Buoyed by a rich and soulful midrange sound, Shimizu’s amazing vocal range lent the familiar Beatles classic an expressive dimension that not even Niall was ready for. “I cannot believe what I just witnessed. That was just unbelievable!” he enthused. “When we talk about technically gifted, I’ve never met anyone so gifted. The song choice was perfect, by the way, because sometimes those kinds of songs can be kind of linear — and you just did the complete opposite with it; made it your own, and just, like, ripped it apart and put all the different parts of your voice in there.”
In the end, it might’ve been Kaylee’s preference for R&B — a genre one Coach in particular is famous for — that helped her choose her spot on Team Legend. Her future mentor pulled no punches during his own sales pitch, forecasting that Shimizu has what it takes to totally go all the way.
“You know you could win The Voice, right?,” said Legend, who compared Shimzu’s talent to that of “a young” Arianna Grande. “And doing it on Team Legend would be just a dream come true for me. You just had so much confidence delivering these impossible notes, and I wanna work with you!”