Spirit of JacksonvilleREAD ONLINE
Cody Belew ready to return home after time on The VoiceOriginally Published December 2, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated November 30, 2012 at 11:41 a.m.
Some Arkansas fans are likely switching off their TVs now that Beebe native Cody Belew is gone from NBC’s The Voice.
Belew, 27, was eliminated from the show Tuesday, along with ex-football-playing crooner Dez Duron.
“My sweet friends,” Belew tweeted late Tuesday night, “this is not my end, only my beginning. Thank you all more than I can express for riding alongside me. Now we work!”
Throughout the show, Belew stayed connected to his growing fan base on Facebook and Twitter. The singer now has more than 25,000 fans on Facebook, often getting hundreds of comments on his posts about the show.
“I’m in shock,” Belew wrote on his official Facebook page after making the show’s Top 10 on Nov. 21. “I am so proud to be connected to all of you in this way — through this music.”
On Twitter, the singer has more than 27,000 followers. Fan accounts including @Belewers, @Belew_Crew and @CodysAngelGirls also began popping up as Belew’s popularity increased, begging fans to vote and vote often.
Though he moved to Tennessee in 2011 before The Voice began, Belew was raised in Beebe and began his career there. His official website (which could use an update after his recent successes) still links to reviews from central-Arkansas publications. Belew gained fans in the area as lead singer of the cover band Cody Belew and the Mercers. In 2011, he released a solo album of Americana music titled Paradise.
“There really is nothing like Arkansas fans, is there?” Belew said in an email interview after his elimination from the show. “Just going to sleep every night so far away from home, the thought of having the support from central Arkansas and beyond was so comforting. … The thought of making you proud gave me strength when it was tough to keep my head up.”
His parents and family in Beebe watched the show religiously, but Belew said the support they showed during his time on The Voice was no different than it has been throughout his career.
“My parents have always been the best at showing support,” Belew said. “I don’t know who is more proud of whom — them of me or me of them! They really are the best parents.”
Belew was contacted to audition for The Voice after scouts saw one of his videos on YouTube. He was selected by show coach CeeLo Green and made his way through the show’s “Battle Rounds” to the live shows, where votes from fans got him through to the Top 10. Though Belew declared at the start of the show that his true music passion was for gospel and soul, Belew departed from his standard sound many times. His cover of country classic “Jolene” by Dolly Parton became one of his most popular performances, with show coach Blake Shelton declaring it the best he ever heard Belew sing.
Belew’s final performance, “Somebody to Love” by Queen, included some of Belew’s signature hip-swinging style. During his earlier cover of “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce, Belew won over the audience with a surprise dance break toward the end. Fans can still find Belew’s cover of songs, including “The Best” by Tina Turner, “One More Try” by George Michael and “Telephone” by Lady Gaga, for sale on iTunes.
Though he’s not sure exactly what the future has in store for him, Belew is looking forward to heading back to Arkansas for a show soon and hopes to release an album in the near future.
“As soon as I wrap my mind around what the next few months are going to mean for me, I’ll be back in Arkansas for a show,” Belew said. “I’d have to play a show every day for a long time to make up for all the support my wonderful home state has given me.”
Staff writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at (501) 399-3688 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate Features Editor Emily Van Zandt can be reached at 501-399-3688 or email@example.com.