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Photo by  Trae Patton/NBC

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Welcome Home, Bryce

"The Voice" champion sits down with East Cobb City Lifestyle to talk music, family and his bright future

Singing in front of a screaming TV audience of millions of viewers, Bryce Leatherwood croons, singing Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes” like it was his own. The way he wears his cowboy hat and holds himself, commanding the stage, belies his 22 years. 

His voice proved to be more than just compelling, winning the hearts (and votes) of Americans on the 22nd season of the NBC show, “The Voice.” The champion grew up in Woodstock and returns home to see his parents, Cliff and Hope Leatherwood, and grandparents nearby as often as possible. 

“My family is my rock. Without my family, none of this would be worth it. As much as I’m doing this for myself, I’m doing this for everyone,” he says. And by “this,” he means competing and winning “The Voice” alongside his coach Blake Shelton — and embarking on a career as a recording artist and country music superstar. “I want to put Woodstock on the map and make my family proud, make my hometown proud.”

A tribute to his childhood wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging his faith. The years growing up in the church pews at Hickory Flat United Methodist Church are the roots of his foundation, along with his family. Bryce and his younger brother Lance grew up on their grandfather’s farm in Woodstock. 

“Staking fence posts isn’t too fun, and it was tough being out there in the heat taking care of chores as kids. Lucky for us, we did a lot of playing too,” he says. They careened around on four-wheelers and dirt bikes, jumped in local swimming holes and fished. “We did it right.”

Now, he spends his days playing in the studio, writing music with some of the most talented songwriters in Nashville. “Most of these songwriters have several number-one hits,” he says with admiration. “I’ve written more than 30 original songs since the first of the year in Nashville. We’ll release them very very soon,” he explains. Likely, a few singles will be released over a few weeks, introducing his golden vocals and good old country boy twang to the radio airwaves and music streaming public. 

Grammy-nominated country artist Blake Shelton remembers those early days. “When I think of myself at that age, I was hoping someday I would just hear myself on the radio. At that time, all my heroes were on the radio, and if I could just hear myself on the radio, mission accomplished,” said Shelton in an interview with People magazine just after Bryce’s win.  

Bryce says his “mission accomplished” would be recording a song that people can connect with. “I want to put a song out there that impacts people and changes their lives. I want to tell stories about the common people — of the South, of Georgia. I want my songs to reflect the stories of my life.”

Reflecting on the formative experience on the four-time Emmy Award-winning musical competition series, Bryce says his biggest takeaway is that he discovered who he is as an artist. "I discovered who I am and the songs I want to create, the music I want to base my sound on and to honor the legends who came before me.” His plan is to be one of the greats, like his heroes Keith Whitley and Conway Twitty. 

With his deep talent and performance prowess, Bryce found himself at home on the television stage. “‘The Voice’ band is full of incredibly talented musicians. It’s a tribute to them the way they translate the song to fit Bryce Leatherwood. They are to die for,” he says. Managing the nerves of playing with such accomplished musicians and in front of millions of viewers, he adds, gets easier over time.  “It’s like getting calluses on your hands from working, You still feel it, but soon it hurts a little less.”  Sounds like a country hit! And, the excitement feeds him. “It’s like mainlining adrenaline, the best feeling in the world.”

This Father’s Day, Bryce plans to be home spending time with his family. His brother Lance just graduated from Georgia Southern (Also Bryce’s alma mater) with a degree in finance. “He is a smart and hardworking kid and knows I am proud of him, even when I make fun of him or push him in different ways. It’s my job as his older brother.”

The day will be built around good food, good stories, smiles, hugs and handshakes. “The best feeling in the world is to make the people who saw me grow up proud. It’s the best feeling in my life," he says. 

Bryce will perform in a City of Woodstock Welcome Home Celebration at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 25 at the Northside Hospital - Cherokee Amphitheater in Woodstock. Admission is free. Welcome home, Bryce! 

For concert information, visit 
Follow Bryce’s bright career at, or on Instagram @BryceLeatherwood. 


  • Photo by Eric Ahlgrim
  • Photo by Eric Ahlgrim
  • Photo by Eric Ahlgrim
  • Photo by  Trae Patton/NBC
  • Photo by  Trae Patton/NBC
  • Photo by  Trae Patton/NBC
  • Photo by  Trae Patton/NBC