New York City’s Maelyn Jarmon thought her dream of becoming a singer was nearing its end. Then, she won "The Voice."
"I am in shock right now," the 25-year-old Washington Heights resident wrote to her fans on Instagram after winning the NBC reality competition series Tuesday night. "Thank you to everyone who voted and streamed my songs. I would not have won this without you. I’m eternally grateful."
The singer powered through the series’ 16th season, stunning judges from the start. Her audition, which aired in March, is one of "The Voice’s" most-watched videos, with nearly 5 million views to date.
America was introduced to Jarmon’s "magic" vocals by way of her rendition of "Fields of Gold," which sent all four judges (John Legend, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and Adam Levine) turning in their chairs within the song’s first 20 seconds.
Jarmon was coached by Legend, who she called "a wonderful human," throughout her journey on the series. "Thank you for challenging me [and] picking amazing songs for me," she wrote. Her standout performances included a duet with Sarah McLachlan in the live finale.
Jarmon, originally from Texas, moved to Manhattan eight years ago with her parents so she could immerse herself in the city’s musical education scene. She initially hoped to study classical music at Juilliard and instead decided to make "New York my school," she told amNewYork at the start of the season.
After eight years of singing in New York City venues and studying music and theater at Barrow Group, Jarmon was ready to pack her bags and head back to Texas.
"I was at a pretty low point last year. I was working as a waitress and had stopped working on music because I was just lost in what I wanted to do," she said. "I hadn’t really shared these feelings with a lot of people, thinking that it might not work. I worked with multiple people who kind of took advantage of me and set me back. It’s hard and I think everyone knows it’s become a conversation that being a woman in this industry can be difficult.
"Then, someone reached out to me and asked if I’d audition. I thought, ‘well, I have nothing to lose.’ "
She was scouted by NBC and asked to audition for "The Voice" before she got the chance to move out of the city.
Jarmon was up against singer Gyth Rigdon in the season finale. Before her win was revealed, Legend told her he was "so grateful" to have worked with her. "It’s been such a wonderful, thrilling experience to work with you. Thank you," he said.
Jarmon was awarded a trophy onstage and will receive a cash prize. Before winning, she said she’d be looking to release her first EP and book local gigs in the city when her time on the series came to an end.
"I can’t WAIT to get to work," she wrote on Instagram.