Mt. Juliet man advances on ‘The Voice’

Xavier Smith • Updated Sep 22, 2016 at 8:00 AM

A Mt. Juliet man used a second chance to jumpstart his second career Tuesday after his surprising audition on ‘The Voice’ landed him in the next round.

Dan Shafer, 56, of Mt. Juliet, joined Team Blake (Shelton) after the country music star turned his chair around for the musical veteran who took time off from the industry for his family.

Shafer said he played in different bands growing up and worked on jingles for beverage, food and toy companies, along with TV shows – including “The Transformers.”

“When my son, Jaime, was 11, we would found out he had Crohn’s disease,” Shafer said. “Any time your child gets ill, it pretty much halts everything else. I had to have a job. I had to have insurance. So, I kind of put music on the backburner and I took a job as a salesman for a beverage company and all of a sudden, you’re 56, and where did life go?”

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract. It can be extremely painful for people with the disease.

Shafer, who is currently in a group called the Classic Rock Allstars, said with his son’s condition in remission, it was time to give his dream one last shot.

“What’s wonderful about the voice is it’s not about how old you are. After all these years it’s my last chance to really make my dreams come true,” he said.


During Shafer’s performance of “Marry Me,” Shelton turned around and let out a small shriek at the sight of Shafer, whose voice sounds decades younger than his age.

“This is why I love this show,” Shelton said after he introduced himself to Shafer.

“That was the hardest I’ve ever deliberated over somebody before because, man, we toured with that band for a long time and I thought you were tinder, but also had real strong moments. I was sleep at the wheel a little bit and for that, I apologize. But, I think you are fantastic,” Voice judge Adam Levine said.

Judge Miley Cyrus was impressed with Shafer’s voice and also the sacrifice he made for his family years ago.

“I got cold chills. That’s the same thing as actually my dad. He was touring and the minute I was born he was like, ‘I looked at you and I couldn’t be on the road anymore.’ That’s the thing I’m most thankful for. It’s really important and shows a lot about you,” said Cyrus, who said Shafer is the example of never giving up.

The judges weren’t the only ones impressed with Shafer’s performance:


Find Shafer and other contestants on “The Voice” on Monday and Tuesday nights at 7 p.m.

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