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Church of God Lee University's Jordan Smith is now The Voice champion.
"For all of us at Lee this has been a fun experience, watching the world encounter Jordan's talent. It's also been a source of pride that Jordan has stayed true to his calling. That is something we try to model for our students every day, so watching Jordan live it on national television has been deeply gratifying," Lee University Vice President for University Relations Jerome Hammond says.
While at Lee, Smith is part of the Lee Singers, directed by Brad Moffett.
"(Jordan's) singing gift was really honed because of his faith and worship life," Moffett says. "Singing in church is where he first started singing, and in a lot of ways, you can't separate Jordan's singing from his faith, no matter what he's singing. For someone like Jordan, singing is an expression of Jordan's spirituality, so much a part of who he is (is) tied directly to his faith, it's hard to separate his craft, his artistry from his spirituality and faith."
When Smith auditioned for The Voice earlier this year, he stunned judges with his performance of Sia's "Chandelier."
Smith joined Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine's team after Levine declared him the "most important person to ever be on this show," after Smith's audition.
In his run on the show, Smith's songs have frequently topped iTunes charts, knocking Adele's "Hello" off her No. 1 spot on multiple occasions.
Smith's rendition of "Mary Did You Know" is currently the No. 1 single on the iTunes chart, and two of his other songs round out the top five.
When Smith performed "Mary Did You Know," some Lee students and alumni were skeptical, as the song is frequently performed in Lee chapels. But Smith won them over.
"Not only did Jordan Smith prove that he deserves to win 'The Voice' tonight, but he also redeemed 'Mary Did You Know' for all the Lee peeps in the process," student Drenda Butler posted on Facebook.
"Jordan Smith singer, evangelist, humble celebrity, beautiful soul just informed America what Christmas is about and they are literally buying it on iTunes. Some things are more important than winning a TV music competition. Brad Moffett you've helped instill Christian artistry in that young man. Well done!" Professor Jeff Salyer posted on Facebook.
When Smith was announced winner, Lee University President Paul Conn tweeted: "What an exciting night for Jordan Smith and Lee people everywhere! He was terrific on stage and in every way! I'm a proud Prez!"
Smith is far from the first Lee student/graduate to be recognized for vocal talent. Recent graduate Clark Beckham took second in American Idol in the most recent season.
Lee grad and American Idol alum Phil Stacey commended Smith on social media.
"From someone who has been on a tv talent show: There has never been anyone more dominant in their respective season. Not Carry, Not Kelly, not Chris... Jordan Smith was the clear winner from the moment of his audition," Stacey posted.
"Big congratulations to him on this amazing night. Congrats is also due to Lee University, who placed 2nd on Idol this year AND 1st on the Voice. You are a place where students can truly grow and develop their talent. And you have also helped instill great character in your students. So cool to watch all this go down," he wrote.
Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.
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