“I started in music when I was a little kid, like seven years old. It was just always a part of my life.” Jacquie Lee is a girl with a voice. She rose to overnight recognition on the TV show The Voice when coaches turned around to find a then sixteen-year-old girl as the source of the powerful rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.” She joined Christina Aguilera’s team and still considers her a mentor even after the show has ended. “She was amazing. She worked so hard for me,” says Jacquie. “She still writes me emails and gives me great advice.” The advice isn’t necessarily vocally themed. “It’s just about being happy in this industry, which is really hard to do if you look at every little thing as something that will stress you out or create pressure, but she’s been really good just about giving me solid advice on things that matter in life.”
While Jacquie has been performing since she was seven, The Voice honed those skills and in the process made her a household name. Jacquie was drawn to The Voice for its authenticity, over other reality shows that focus on talent development. “It definitely felt different than any of the other shows because it’s about the voice, the judges can’t see you, they have to turn around based on what they feel,” says Jacquie “I also like that it always painted you in a good picture, and it wasn’t about the drama.” The transition from singing in a TV competition to gathering a following as an artist was hard. “It takes a lot of work to portray yourself as an artist after coming off of a TV show where you sing covers. It’s been hard in my personal life because it’s two different worlds now.” Fame at such a young age can be a lot to handle, but many of the greatest stars started young. Christina, anyone? And Jacquie’s career is off to a good start. She released her first EP, Broken Ones, in October of 2014, and her single, “Tears Fall” released in April 2015, received rave reviews from her fans, or “Jacquattacks,” as they call themselves.
Her covers continue to draw views on YouTube, including Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Covering such a classic runs the risk of drawing scrutiny, but Jacquie’s version lent it cheekiness. “I thought that it would be a cool thing to try to get people to look at it in a different way, because it’s such an upbeat party song.” She’s recently toured with Shawn Mendes and is looking to release her debut album, dropping the question to fans, “Will you listen to my voice outside of the hype of The Voice?” Either way she is grateful for those who have continued to support her career, living by the mantra: “Don’t worry, be happy. Because life is too short not to do what makes you happy.”
Jacquie Lee photographed by Anna Cone for The Untitled Magazine #GirlPower Issue
Stylist: Melissa Infante
Make-up by Eric Vosburg
Hair by Dana Boyer
This article originally appeared in The #GirlPower Issue of The Untitled Magazine (2015), pick up a print edition of the issue today!