Fort Wayne teen part of historic team on “The Voice”

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Addison Agen, 16, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, has earned a great deal of attention lately because of her performance on NBC’s “The Voice.” The Concordia Lutheran High School junior has a musical background that seems to be helping her find success on the vocal performance program.

Why Addison Agen’s performance matters

Every now and then, one of Fort Wayne’s musical stars gets to shine for a larger audience. In the late 1990s, Fort Wayne-area rock band, Jettingham climbed to national prominence, and after releasing local hits, ended up with a song on the “American Pie 2” soundtrack.

In the past two decades, Fort Wayne’s music scene has grown beyond the usual heavy metal and country cover bands, to include a wide-range of genres.

What is inspiring about Agen’s work on “The Voice” is that she’s from Fort Wayne, and she is good. During some seasons of “The Voice,” it seems as if most of the contestants are from Nashville, Tennessee, or Los Angeles, California–places more readily associated with the music industry than a medium-sized city still trying to escape its industrialized past.

That Agen has not only made it on the show (she is not the only Fort Wayne-native to have auditioned; she is, however, the most successful-to-date) but that she has managed to impress judges, says something for her talent.

Agen’s audition for “The Voice” earned her a two-chair turnaround from both Adam Levine and Miley Cyrus. But in a video from the performance, it is clear that Agen also got the attention of newest judge, Jennifer Hudson. One of the words Hudson used to describe Agen’s performance was “Wow.”

Similarly, YouTube videos of Agen’s performances are well-received. Commenters remark that they have gotten “chills” or “teared up” listening to Agen sing. One of the impressive aspects of Agen’s vocal ability has been that she sounds as good live as she does in the studio.

A bit about Addison Agen

According to recent local press coverage of Agen, her parents are musically oriented as well. Her father owns independent record store, Neat, Neat, Neat, and her mother is a music therapist. Agen was a precocious performer who gave her first piano recital at age 2.

Clearly, then, Agen is poised to do well when it comes to performing popular music. A video of her upcoming battle round performance has been leaked. It shows Agen and Team Miley teammate, Karli Webster, taking on a unique arrangement of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

The composite of Cyrus’ team is historical because it is the first all-female team in the history of “The Voice.” That a teenager from Fort Wayne, Indiana is a part of such a group is significant.

Regardless of how far Agen goes with her work on “The Voice,” the point will have been made clear that talent knows no geographical boundaries, and maybe it is time that music fans, critics and music industry representatives re-think the aging idea that talented people exist on the coasts. While the idea is fading, it isn’t doing so quickly enough.

 

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