Chicago's Connection To a New Voice

He was once homeless, now he's living his dream on The Voice

By Glenn Marshall
|  Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012  |  Updated 2:26 PM CDT
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Jesse Campbell, contestant on The Voice, got his start here in Chicago. His Father, Pastor Willie James Campbell, discusses when he realized his son would be a star.

Jesse Campbell, contestant on The Voice, got his start here in Chicago. His Father, Pastor Willie James Campbell, discusses when he realized his son would be a star.

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Among the voices heard on NBC Sunday night was one belonging to a man who hails from Maywood.

Jesse Campbell appeared on the debut episode of the second season of The Voice. But getting there wasn't easy. His journey to the show started as a child, singing in his fathers church choir.

"We allowed Jesse to sing and when he sang the song it was like phenomenal. It blew everyone out of the water... it was just wonderful," said his father, Pastor Willie James Campbell of St. James Church on Chicago's south side.

The 42-year-old singer showed the country what Chicago had already knew he had. He immediately turned the chairs of all four judges, causing them to argue over his talents.

"I would love to have you on my team and I would work hard for you to take you to top," said coach Christina Agiulera, luring Campbell to her team.

Campbell's road to Sunday night was not easy for him. After moving to California, he and his daughter lived in his car while he pursuing his musical career.

"I know that I have a great gift and talent and I am going to be here because I believe California is the best place for me. So if it means that I have sleep in my car then that's what I'm going to do," he said.

Campbell's sacrifices prepared him for the opportunity that could change his life forever. He undoubtedly gives thanks to his hometown.

"Chicago is what prepared me for the rest of the world," he said, describing his time in Illinois.

The Voice can be seen on Mondays at 8 p.m. here on NBC.

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