A former backup singer for the likes of Alicia Keys moved up to the center stage of US pop music when he emerged the winner of season two of the popular, viewer-voted NBC reality talent show "The Voice."
Jermaine Paul, an R&B vocalist coached during the series by country star Blake Shelton, wiped back tears and hugged family members on stage before bringing the curtain down on the show with a cover of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly."
"I want to say thank you to everybody that voted for me," said Paul, who collects a $100,000 prize and a recording contract.
He entered the contest in hopes of moving beyond his reputation as a backing vocalists for Keys, Mary J. Blige and Joss Stone.
Taking second place was California songstress Juliet Simms, the lone female among the four finalists on the show, an American adaptation of a Dutch reality TV contest with contestants mentored by celebrity coaches and ratings that rivaled the more established "American Idol."
Javier Colon, the Latino winner of series one in 2011, went on to record an album that spent just a week on the Billboard 200 charts. Series three is due to air in a few months.