Back left
Back right

Exclusive Interview: Chevel Shepherd- Hot Country Tinkerbell

The 2018 winner of The Voice is a petite teen powerhouse!

Dec 21, 2018

By: Lynn Barker

From small town Farmington, New Mexico, 2018 winner of “The Voice” 16-year-old Chevel Shepherd credits the show with helping her grow as a confident performer comfortable on stage. As her dad told press “She left here as a young girl and is coming back a young woman”. Chevel says that any guy who might want to ask her out will have to “go through my dad”.

Chevel at home in New MexicoChevel at home in New Mexico

On the live finale show on NBC Wednesday night, the delicate, 4’10” country songbird who has been singing since age two, stood with shaky knees along with the rest of the final four, Kirk Jay, 14-year-old Kennedy Holmes, and Chris Kroeze. Soon it was down to Chevel (Pronounced Chevelle) and Chris. When his name was called as first runner up, it dawned on the teenager that she’d won!

The big winning momentThe big winning momentCourtesy of NBC

Chevel, still a student at Farmington High School, credits her close family, friends and many supporters with keeping her grounded now that she’s hit the bigtime.  Her coach Kelly Clarkson is also a major reason that she’s come so far after winning a four-chair turn in this season’s blind auditions. Chevel went on to perform songs like “Blue”, “A Little Too Late” and “Speechless” along with “Broken Hearts”, a tune gifted to her by coach Kelly who had once intended to record it herself.

Chevel after the big win with coach KellyChevel after the big win with coach KellyCourtesy of NBC

Kidzworld spoke with the newly crowned star on the phone from Los Angeles.

Kidzworld: I’m originally from Carlsbad, New Mexico and you are from Farmington so I know firsthand that the whole state was rooting for you.

  • Chevel: Thank you so much!

Kidzworld: Are you okay with everyone calling you a “Country Tinkerbell”?

  • Chevel: Yeah. It’s cute.

Kidzworld: What was the most important thing you learned from Kelly?

  • Chevel: To stay true to myself and just to have fun and not worry about winning or losing because, no matter what, you’re giving it your best and having lots of fun and loving what you’re doing.

Chevel singing with her idol KellyChevel singing with her idol KellyCourtesy of NBC

Kidzworld: Good advice! What do you plan to do to stay grounded when you are so suddenly a star?

  • Chevel: I always have to remember where I came from and all the people that supported me to get me here. I’ll just remember my hometown and everybody who showed me love.

Kidzworld: You auditioned for season 13 and they said the teams were already full but they called you to come in for blind auditions this season. Was that an upsetting roller coaster ride for you?

  • Chevel: I went to open calls in Vegas and I didn’t make it but I wasn’t super sad after season 13. I was going to do my own thing at home and just have fun singing my music then they (the producers) called me and, well, here I am.

Kidzworld: So you must have made a big impression. Who were or are your music artist idols other than Kelly?

  • Chevel: I really love Loretta Lynn and Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert. I have a lot that I love.

The hopeful final fourThe hopeful final fourCourtesy of NBC

Kidzworld: When you aren’t performing, what is an average Saturday at home like for you?

  • Chevel: I help my mom and dad around the house. I hang out with friends. Normal teenage stuff. I work on cars with my dad.

Kidzworld: Wow, you can tune up a car? Great. Do you have advice for kids or teens who have a dream that maybe everybody in their lives doesn’t support?

  • Chevel: I would have to say follow your dreams and don’t let anything get in the way because if your heart desires it, you should go for it!

Final two: Chris Kroeze and ChevelFinal two: Chris Kroeze and ChevelCourtesy of NBC

Kidzworld: Will you ever cut your long hair?

  • Chevel: Oh never! I love my long hair.

Kidzworld: Of all the gorgeous dresses you wore on the show, which is your favorite (pink sparkle is mine) and did you get to keep any of them?

  • Chevel: That is a hard question because I loved all of them. I really liked the dress that I wore when I sang “Grandpa” my original dress. I like a whole bunch of them but I got to keep all of my clothes that I wore on the show.

Chevel performs Broken HeartsChevel performs Broken HeartsCourtesy of NBC

Kidzworld: What must a guy do if he wants to date you? Something that has to happen. He can’t get around it.

  • Chevel: Well, first he has to go through my dad. He’d have to meet my dad first. Don’t know what else I’d require. I mean he’d have to be nice. Some guys are scared to meet dad. I don’t know why.

Kidzworld: He’s pretty formidable. What is your pet peeve? What do you just hate people to do, like when they meet you?

  • Chevel: People who chew really loud or they are sitting next to you and they start breathing super, super heavy or when someone comes up to me and they touch me all the time, like poke me on my back or something. Sometimes that gets annoying.

Kidzworld: For sure!  You think of singing as a career but what is your hobby?

  • Chevel: Working on cars with my dad or I like to read and write stories.

Chevel waiting backstageChevel waiting backstageCourtesy of NBC

Kidzworld: What is your ultimate goal; to write songs, make albums, tour, be in a musical?

  • Chevel: I want to put out Country albums and write my own music and tour the world and go to the Grand Ole Opry and the CMA’s. I have a bunch of goals.  

Kidzworld: Your dad said, “She left as a young girl and came back a young woman”. How do you feel about that?

  • Chevel: I’d have to say that I agree with that. Yeah (she laughs). It’s true.  

Kidzworld: How did the show change you?

  • Chevel: I feel like it made me a better performer than I was. I can move around the stage and connect with people more easily than I could before. I feel a lot more comfortable on stage now.

Country Tinkerbell rules!Country Tinkerbell rules!Courtesy of NBC

Kidzworld: Who would you like to sing a duet with?

  • Chevel: Oh, Loretta, Dolly, Carrie, Miranda, Trace Adkins. A whole bunch.

Kidzworld: Would you want to tour with Kelly soon?

  • Chevel: Yeah. We’ve talked about doing some shows together.

Kidzworld: If you weren’t going to be a professional singer, what kind of work would you want to be doing when you grow up? 

  • Chevel: I would want to be a Forensic Profiler like on “Criminal Minds” putting the puzzle together on why they did (the crime) and also, I love animals so I’d like to be a veterinarian as well.

Chevel waiting backstageChevel waiting backstageCourtesy of NBC

Kidzworld: Do you go back to Farmington High when you are home or are you homeschool now?

  • Chevel: I’m going to public school still, to Farmington High.

Kidzworld: Do you have a final word for tweens and teens about following their dreams?

  • Chevel: Just to always do it. Don’t let anyone stop you. Have lots of fun in life and take as many chances as you can get!

Chevel has been given a crash course on talking to reporters. After the hype dies down, she plans to go back to Farmington to thank in person all those who supported her. Then she’ll start work on a country album with mentor Kelly.

What Do You Think?

Do you think you could follow your dreams to the top? Would you stay close to family and friends and still be yourself or get a snooty attitude? Are you a fan of Country music superstars or are you into other kinds of music? Share your thoughts with other Kidzworld visitors with a comment below or write your feelings on your profile page!