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Hear William Alexander’s “Phenomenal” Tone & Story That Made Reba Cry 

Singing Lizzy McAlipne’s “Ceilings” straight from the heart, the New York native had the Queen of Country in tears.

By Benjamin Bullard

On The Voice or anywhere else, Reba McEntire knows raw emotion when she hears it. And despite his tender age, 16-year-old William Alexander let the emotions flow freely in a powerful 2-Chair-Turn Blind Audition performance that left the Queen of Country dabbing at her eyes.

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. 

McEntire and Chance the Rapper turned for Alexander early in his soulful cover of Lizzy McAlpine’s “Ceilings.” But it wasn’t until after they’d heard his family story that Alexander realized he shared a bond that made him the right fit for Team Reba. “It feels so crazy that Reba got emotional,” Alexander admitted. “That’s when I really felt connected to her, and that’s when I just knew that I had to pick Reba.”

RELATED: An Official Recap of Team Reba on The Voice Season 25

Watch William Alexander’s Blind Audition on The Voice Season 25

William Alexander sings in a floral jacket in Season 25 Episode 4 of The Voice.

Just the same as McEntire, family ties mean everything to Alexander, a first-generation American who confessed through tears that memories of his late grandfather — always his “biggest fan” — were heavy on his mind during his first Season 25 performance.

“Singing that song, I was actually singing it for my grandfather who passed away last year,” he told the Coaches. “He always said that he believed in me. It’s just crazy being here now!”

RELATED: Every Blind Audition on The Voice Season 25, Broken Down by Team

McEntire was extra-impressed that Alexander could harness that kind of emotion onstage without a single vocal hiccup. “Were you really thinking about your grandfather? Because when I sing a song, and I’m thinking about my mama… I start gasping and I can’t sing anymore!” she said. “How did you do that? [It was] Wonderful — wonderful! You’re gonna have somebody ‘with’ you all the time — and now I’m getting choked up!”

Chance, meanwhile, was just plain impressed with Alexander’s voice. “First of all, you’re 16? That’s crazy!” he praised. “Great control, and just a really unique tone. I really don’t think there’s anybody in the competition who sounds anything like you.”

Alexander’s sound wowed the Coaches who didn’t turn, too: “Sorry we didn’t turn around,” said Dan + Shay’s Shay Mooney afterward. “But your tone is phenomenal!”

RELATED: Watch Reba McEntire's Emotional Super Bowl 2024 National Anthem Performance

Part of the fun of Blind Auditions comes from watching the Coaches play strategic games to build their best team. It’s a built-in part of The Voice’s competitive tension that has a way of matching great Artists with the right Coach. McEntire said her team needed a voice like Alexander’s as the show looks ahead toward the Battles round: “William’s voice was very smooth, but different than anything else I’ve got,” she explained. “So that’s why I wanted him!”