Her audition: Judith Hill, 28, of Los Angeles, auditioned with “What a Girl Wants.” Adam Levine called it the first time someone on the show sang a Christina Augilera song as well as Christina. All four judges turned their chairs, but Judith joined Team Adam.
Battle Round: Judith and Karina Iglesias were tasked with singing “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World.” Judith won the battle, but Karina was stolen and became a member of Team Shakira.
Knockout Round: She sang “Always on My Mind” and defeated Orlando Dixon, who performed “All My Life.”
Live Playoffs: Performed “Feeling Good” and advanced to the Top 12 on fan voting.
Her background: Judith comes from a musical family. Her mother is a keyboardist who met her father while he was playing in a funk band. Judith told The Voice she wrote her first song at age 4 and her first big gig was touring and singing backup with a French pop star. Then she was picked to sing backup and duets for Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” comeback tour. They rehearsed for two months before Michael passed away. “Working with Michael was just amazing,” she said. Judith sang “Heal the World” at his memorial service. She says her phone rang off the hook with offers after that, but it seemed like “poor taste” to cash in. “But, now, I think it’s finally my time,” she said.
On choosing Adam: “I respect him and his music and what he’s done in the commercial world and how he’s about to bring great songs and great melodies into the marketplace. I’d really respect his opinion on getting (my) soulful voice and putting it into a pop context. We can all sing, but how do you sell records? How do you really put it into something America will buy? I think he’ll have great ears for that.”
What the show didn’t show: The French pop singer was Michel Polnareff, according to Judith’s Facebook page. After Michael’s death, she released “I Will Always Be Missing You” as a tribute to the singer, first as a free download, then on iTunes with proceeds going to Childhelp US. Between being discovered by Michael Jackson and The Voice, Judith was discovered by Spike Lee. Ten songs she wrote are on the soundtrack for his 2012 film, “Red Hook Summer.” Two are embedded below. In a post-audition interview with the press, Judith said she did “a lot of woodshedding” in the years since Michael’s death, working on developing her own sound while continuing to sing background for other artists. “Trying to make a living, you know, trying to do as much as possible to pay the bills and hone in my craft as an artist.”
Quote: “It was a very, very, very sensitive time,” she said of the time after Michael’s death. “I mean, the world was in mourning. I was in a place where I was just overwhelmed and I needed to take some time and really process things and go through my journey. I think that it was important to respect the time that we had onstage with Michael and not to come out and try to capitalize on it, but to really just respect it. And I’m glad because the time I took away allowed me to really kind of figure out more of who I am as an artist. Because I think at that time I wasn’t really ready.”
On iTunes: Her audition song, “What a Girl Wants,” plus a 2009 single (“I Will Always Be Missing You”) and the 2012 soundtrack album for “Red Hook Summer.”
“Love Today” (theme song from Red Hook Summer soundtrack)
“Beautiful Life” (from Red Hook Summer soundtrack)