FRIDAY, APR. 20: Tattooed and talented singer Beverly McClennan has been riding on a sea of success since competing in the first season of NBC’s The Voice. Not only has she toured with BB King but Etta James’ band has featured on her album. She spoke to the Bermuda Sun’s Don Burgess about her career so far.
Beverly McClellan was like a high-energy dynamo electrifying the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as she waited for her Delta flight to Fort Lauderdale.
Listening to music on her iPod, her arms were working back and forth like she was playing an imaginary set of drums with never a care to the world what someone might think about this highly extroverted behaviour.
She marches to her own beat, which is something you might expect from a bald-headed woman with tattoos up and down her arms.
McClellan finished second runner-up behind Javier Colon and Dia Frampton on the first season of NBC’s singing competition The Voice and was mentored by Christina Aguilera.
It’s been a great year for the previously little-known artist as she charted a song in the US Billboard Top 100 and three on the Canadian Billboard Top 100.
She has been nominated as the Outstanding Music Artist for the 23rd Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Media Awards and had just finished a tour opening for legend BB King. She had been knocking around the music scene for over 20 years, recording five independent albums with nary a record company signing her.
While in the airport, her fame is acknowledged as passersby stare — the braver ones offer congratulations and speak.
McClellan told the Bermuda Sun being on The Voice “has paid off. I just got off tour with BB King, so if that’s losing, I’ll take it.
“My life has changed completely — it’s been a 180 degree turnaround. I could have only dreamed of going on tour with BB King and now I’m doing it all because I went on The Voice —That’s the power of TV.”
She’s coping well with her new fame.
“It’s a trip for people to know that it’s me, but TV is very powerful. I went for it. I’m not sad and I haven’t looked back.”
Besides BB King, McClellan has had the opportunity to play with blues-rock guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Grammy winners Jonny Lang and Robert Cray.
“I haven’t played with Buddy Guy yet, but I’d love to.”
Her latest album is Fear Nothing, which was released last November.
She has worked with David Z, a music producer, who had a number one hit of his own back in the 1970s with Funkytown, when he was a member of Lipps Inc.
“He put Prince’s Purple Rain album on the map. I’m lucky to have worked with him and Etta James’ band on my CD.”
She says since being on The Voice her music sales have “skyrocketed. It did exactly what I thought it would do. It gave my music wings.
“This is the only show that works hand-in-hand with the artist as opposed to any one of them. I can take criticism from Christina Aguilera. I wouldn’t be able to do that from other said people.
“She can tell me that because she can sing her face off.”
McClellan said the best piece Aguilera gave her was “to stay myself, which I was planning on doing anyway. But she said ‘Hey man, nobody can do you, like you.’ And I’m like ‘You’re right.’”
McClellan added since the first season ended, she has not only kept in contact with Aguilera, but with all of them — Blake (Shelton), Adam (Levine) and Cee Lo (Green). They are all beautiful people.”
She has been watching season two of The Voice when she can and is rooting for Jamar Rogers from Cee Lo Green’s team and is in the final 12.
“I love his energy. He seems like he comes from the school of hard knocks and needs that break — I think he’s got it. He’s been on The Voice and that’s good enough. They’ve interviewed thousands from all over the world and I’m happy he got to be a part of that and I believe he’s a great spirit that will go on and on and on.”