Local Resident Michelle Cox Performs on NBC’s “The Voice”
Photography / Provided
When Michelle “Chelle” Cox was nine years old, her grandfather moved into her family’s Bargersville home. Cox, who had been singing for as long as she had been talking, was always flitting around the house, bursting into song. One day her grandpa told her parents, “Chelle’s really good for a nine-year-old. You should consider getting her involved in something to help grow this talent.”
Cox sang in her middle school choir, but she elected to home school throughout high school. When she was 13, she asked her mom to set up a YouTube channel where she could post snippets of her talent.
“I was in love with Justin Bieber, and I knew YouTube was how he got recognized,” says Cox, who began performing at birthday parties and church events.
For the past year, Cox, 19, has worked in the Center Grove area as a preschool teacher.
“It wears me out, but I love it,” says Cox, who plans to study early childhood education and/or music education at Wabash College this fall.
Cox incorporates music into her classroom every day, whether it’s singing “Happy Birthday”, the national anthem, or Christmas carols.
“Music will always play a part in whatever I do,” she says.
Earlier this year Cox worked up the courage to audition for NBC’s television series “The Voice”, and sang a Billie Eilish song. Cox, whose blind audition aired on February 25, says she’s typically a nervous wreck before stepping on stage. On her audition day, however, she was calm, cool and collected.
“I always pray before I sing, and the fact that a peace washed over me that day – I took that as validation that God was putting me in the right place at the right time,” says Cox, who impressed all four celebrity judges, three of whom invited her onto their team.
Ultimately, Cox decided to ask Kelly Clarkson, one of the show’s judges, to coach her. Cox has taken very little professional training, having worked with a vocal coach for a couple of months when she was nine years old.
“I will vouch for ‘The Voice’ 100%, forever,” Cox says. “They are the kindest, most genuine people I’ve ever met. They push every musician so hard, but give us nothing but confidence and professional feedback as well.”
Cox calls performing on “The Voice” an incredible adrenaline rush.
“I’m my happiest self when I’m on stage,” she says. “I cannot put into words what it feels like when you step off that stage after doing something you love. It’s like floating in the sky and knowing you’ll never fall.”
Elton John, Carrie Underwood and Stevie Wonder rank as some of Cox’s favorite performing artists of all time.
When Cox told her family that she had made it onto the popular show, her parents were excited but not at all surprised.
“My mom told me, ‘I always knew you’d do something big,’” Cox says.
Her students were also thrilled to see their teacher perform somewhere other than the classroom. The day after her audition aired, they came running into the classroom yelling, “We saw you on TV!”
Cox feels thankful for the chance to share her love of the arts with the world.
“I think that having music or some type of art form is critical for children to develop correctly,” says Cox, noting that the same is true for teens and adults. “I think it’s an incredible way for people to have an outlet. Music and art have saved a lot of people from a lot of things. Music is incredibly important for mental health.”
Cox describes herself as a typical 19-year-old girl who enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, Trenton, and her nephew, Matthew.
“My nephew is the light of my life – being an aunt is my favorite thing in the world,” says Cox, who also enjoys hair and makeup styling. “I have an entire closet filled with makeup and I’m not even joking.”
Cox enjoys hiking, collecting rocks, and many other outdoor pursuits. She’s also an avid animal lover with three dogs and three cats of her own. In the past she’s had pet mice, turtles, lizards and frogs.
As she looks to the future, Cox hopes to increase her YouTube following. She would also like to start writing her own music.
“I would love to keep music in my life,” Cox says. “My dream is for music to be a sustainable career for myself.”