Singer, songwriter, and professional nomad Ian Flanigan had already been living a troubadour life, touring full time for a decade when the pandemic hit.
Desperate times called for radical measures, and Flanigan’s final gig in February 2020 was an unintended audition at a Nashville honky-tonk in front of talent scouts for NBC’s The Voice. His unique, whiskey-and-cigarettes voice won the show’s producers over and he was off to Los Angeles. Following a third-place finish on the show, Flanigan had bonded deeply with his then-mentor, now-collaborator Blake Shelton. Together they sang and released the duet “Grow Up,” Flanigan’s single about feeling young no matter how old you are. Shelton said that Flanigan had "the most unique voice maybe I've ever heard on The Voice." Usher called him a "top gun." Gwen Stefani said, "nobody has a voice that sounds like that, it's just so rare."