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Southern Miss alum Karen Waldrup advances to finals of ‘The Voice’

Country music singer Karen Waldrup is hoping her run on "The Voice" will elevate her career to the next level (Photo from Karen Waldrup/Facebook)

Southern Miss alumnus Karen Waldrup is one step closer to winning The Voice after advancing to the finals on Tuesday night.

No time was wasted as host Carson Daly revealed just minutes into the episode that Waldrup (Team Dan + Shay) was the first artist moving forward after the audience vote. She was later joined by Nathan Chester (Team Legend), Josh Sanders (Team Reba), and Asher HaVon (Team Reba) before Bryan Olesen (Team Legend) earned the instant save to round out this season’s top five.

Waldrup, a native of Mandeville, La., lit up the stage from all angles during Monday night’s episode with a solo performance of Sugarland’s “Stay.” She then transformed that passion into versatility when joining fellow contestants Tae Lewis and Sanders to sing Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.”

While the 37-year-old is no stranger to the country music scene, Waldrup is still trying to break through to the top. After graduating from Southern Miss in 2008, she moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music that mostly included cover work until her debut album Justified dropped in 2018. Waldrup followed that with the EP Kendall Country Road in 2023. The aspiring singer-songwriter has also had the chance to open for major acts such as Rodney Atkins, Carrie Underwood, and Hank Williams, Jr.

Waldrup, who is hoping her run on The Voice will elevate her career to the next level similar to what the show did for Morgan Wallen, will be back on stage on Monday, May 20, and Tuesday, May 21, as season 25 comes to a close. If Waldrup wins, she will be the first person with Mississippi ties since Todd Tilghman in 2020 to finish first in the NBC singing competition.

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