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What's Dia Frampton Been Up To Since Finishing Runner-Up in The Voice's First Season?

Making it in the music industry, even with a successful run on The Voice, isn't easy but season 1 runner-up Dia Frampton is finding success after refusing to give up her passion.

By Jill Sederstrom
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Dia Frampton was one of the first artists to make her mark on The Voice

How to Watch

Watch the Season 26 premiere of The Voice on Monday, September 23 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock. 

The Utah native—who wowed audiences with her performances of Kanye West’s “Heartless” and R.E.M’s “Losing My Religion”—was named the runner-up on the very first season of The Voice.

More than a decade later, Frampton is still in the music business, but she’s quick to admit it hasn’t always been easy.

Frampton was just 23 years old when she stepped onto The Voice stage in 2011 for the show's inaugural season. Her performance of Colbie Caillet’s “Bubbly” quickly won over Coach Blake Shelton and also caught the interest of Coach CeeLo Green (although she opted to go with Shelton).

I wanted to pick something that kind of represented my style, but thinking back now, that was a really, really safe song for me,” she’d tell TVLine that year of the blind audition pick. “I didn’t want to go out there and do some weird REM thing then; I was so scared and I was playing it by the book. Looking back, I’m bummed out. I wish I would’ve done something a little more me.”

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But Frampton did get her chance to put her own stamp on her rendition of “Heartless” in the quarter finals, slowing down the Kayne West rap and singing a much more haunting and emotional version of the song on a smoke-filled stage as she played along on the piano. 

Throughout  much of the show, Frampton was portrayed as a shy children’s book author, but she’d later tell TVLine that didn’t necessarily fully encompass her personality.

The Voice Recaps Dia Frampton

“I’m not a really, really shy person. I think they made me out to be painfully shy on the show,” she said. “But being on the show was a really new, extremely uncomfortable environment for me, where I never felt I had a confirmed space. I was always trying to prove myself.”

Frampton was also used to performing alongside her sister Meg in the indie rock band Meg & Dia and admitted it was a little unsettling to step out onto the stage alone.

Even so, Frampton resonated with America and narrowly came in second in the competition behind soulful singer Javier Colon. Just 2% of votes separated the two finalists, the Associated Press reported that year.

She’d later describe The Voice in an emotional 2016 personal essay as a “lovely show” where she met “amazing friends.”

But the road ahead wouldn’t be easy.

After her time on The Voice, Frampton signed with Universal Records and while she had originally gone on the show to help promote her band Meg & Dia, the band quickly fell apart in the competition’s aftermath and her relationship with her sister became “strained.” 

The record label wouldn’t take all of us since no one on the show knew anything about us, so I just tried to keep it under my name as a solo act, but with my band. But it turns out, that was easier said than done,” she wrote in the essay titled “I’d Get to the Top of the Mountain if It Would Just Stop F—ing Growing.” 

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Frampton put out the solo record RED while on the Universal label, but wrote that it just did “ok.”  

“I don’t mean to cut it down. I really don’t. My heart and soul went into that record, but it just so happens that my heart was half full and my soul was drained and missing something even though I didn’t know what it was,” she wrote.

She got dropped from the record label a few years later. 

While still writing songs during the day, at night Frampton got a job as a waitress at Grand Central Market in Los Angeles, still determined to try to make it in a business she described as often being fraught with sexism and ageism.

“If we’re not in our teens or early twenties, we’re pushed aside and put on the shelf,” she wrote. 

Admittedly, she was “tired” but still determined to pursue her musical dreams.

“But in the end, I’m just a small town girl from Utah who loved to sing. And that girl is somewhere inside me still. I can feel her trying to get out and it breaks my heart,” she wrote.

Things picked up for Frampton a few years later when she and Meg reunited and resurrected Meg & Dia, once again touring the country in their van and putting out a new record “happysad” in 2019.

“Meg and I really don’t take anything for granted now with music, where when I was 17, and we were touring or whatever, I just felt, like, ‘Oh, this is awesome. Is this how it’s always going to be,’” she told The Salt Lake Tribune that year. “That’s the naivete of being a young kid. We know how much work goes into it, and we are just ready to work. ... Meg & Dia is a lot about second chances.”

These days, Meg & Dia is still going strong and the sisters are working on writing a new album, according to her Twitter account.

Frampton is also acting and starred in the holiday TV movie “Merry & Gay” in December.

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