Todd Tilghman – a 41-year-old Meridian, Mississippi, native – who has become well known for his country sound, has been crowned the winner of season 18 of The Voice on Tuesday, May 19. The Voice finale episode aired remotely from each of the coaches and contestants’ homes due to the ongoing public health situation.
Tilghman’s win marks the seventh victory for Voice coach Blake Shelton, who last won season 13 with contestant Chloe Kohanski.
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“When my name was called, I blacked out,” Tilghman said during a press conference following his win.
Shelton added, “Todd is every bit as talented as the other four and I think the thing that may have put him over the top is relatability. He’s somebody everybody hopes they can meet one day — I’m not surprised … I wish I had a record label I could sign Todd to because I would make him a priority. There’s no excuses. It’s time. I want to support him in any way I can.”
Tilghman was up against his follow teammate Toneisha Harris, John Legend’s contestant CammWess, Nick Jonas’ Thunderstorm Artis, and Kelly Clarkson’s player Micah Iverson.
Before his Voice victory, Tilghman worked as a lead pastor at a church where he grew up, and is married to his high school sweetheart. After the couple had three children together, both he and his wife decided to adopt. Thanks to the help of his friends and their community, Tilghman and his wife were able to bring together $20,000 to bring home a new daughter.
A little less than a year later, he and his wife decided to expand their family once again when the adoption agency called saying their daughter’s sister also needed a new home. After receiving an anonymous donation, the couple was able to adopt her as well and now raise eight children together.
After winning The Voice, Tilghman owes the family of eight a trip: “We’re going to have to figure this out, but my wife promised my kids we would go to Disney World if I won,” he said.
In The Voice finale, viewers also saw the finalists, Clarkson, Legend and Shelton team up with season 18 Battle Advisor Bebe Rexha and former Voice coaches CeeLo Green and Shakira for a group performance of Pete Townshend’s “Let My Love Open the Door.” Also in the finale, there were performances by Shelton and his girlfriend Gwen Stefani, the Jonas Brothers with KAROL G, Bon Jovi, and Lady Antebellum.