The fate of Laurel native Moses Stone on NBC's talent show "The Voice" rested in the hands of his coach Christina Aguilera Tuesday, April 3, after the audience vote the night before failed to secure his eligibility in the first night of live performances this season.
As one of three team members who didn't receive enough audience votes to keep their spot safe, Moses had one last chance to impress his coach and sang The Script's "Break Even."
But Aguilera chose another one of the three – Ashley De La Rosa.
On Monday's live show Stone — who changed his last name from Haughton and is a 2005 Laurel High School graduate — performed a medley of Kanye West's "Stronger" and "Power."
Stone's performance Monday drew high praise from celebrity coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green; and his own coach, singer Christina Aguilera.
"Moses, you make me so excited," Aguilera told Stone on the show. "I love seeing you up there; I do. I think the great thing about you and the type of vocalist that you are is the fact that for your type of genre, the people on the radio and doing it are all auto-tuned … that was no auto-tune. I heard you … you started it out singing, and you closed it out singing. You're an all-in-one. You do it all."
Stone was the only hip-hop artist on the show this season, and some coaches worried that while Stone was a good rapper and performer, he wouldn't be a good singer. On the show, Stone said he wanted to prove otherwise, especially after singing — and rapping — theRolling Stones'"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" last week.
"Now that I've really proved myself in the battle rounds (last week) as far as singing, I'm definitely going to let everyone know every thing that I can do," Stone said. "I want to show everyone that I can incorporate everything from dancing to rapping to singing."
On Monday's show, the coaches were impressed.
"I appreciate your stage presence," Green said. "I think you're a natural on stage. I really like your style. Great job tonight."
Levine, a rock musician and the front man for Maroon 5, told Stone that after hearing him sing last week, he would prefer the rapper continue in that direction.
"Personally, I think you have a lot more potential as a singer than a rapper," he said. "You have a grit in your voice that's amazing."
Shelton, a country singer, acknowledged that while he was on the fence about Stone's voice at first, Stone had already grown in his time on the show, under the coaching of Aguilera.
"She's already making a difference with you, Moses," he said. "I can already hear an improvement in your vocals."
Stone has been rapping since he was 9. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he is working on a music career.
"Music kept me out of the street life, drugs and violence," Stone said on the show. "It was my vision and my passion."
To watch clips of Stone's performance, or full episodes of "The Voice," go to http://www.nbc.com.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun