Jordan Smith is so good at so many things that when he was a senior in high school he had a hard time deciding on which career path to choose.
Smith, who recently was labeled as Harlan County’s “gift to the world” as a result of his success on the popular music competition NBC’s “The Voice,” seems to have found his niche.
He graduated from Harlan County High School with academic honors, was a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Drama Club, band, First Priority, and was formally identified as gifted in several areas, including visual and performing arts.
“He puts his whole heart into everything he does and pursues each endeavor with such passion that success is guaranteed,” said an elated Jeanne Ann Lee, who got to know Smith as she directed the Harlan County Children’s Choir and Harlan County High School Choir in which he participated.
During Monday night’s performance, the audience saw a little glimpse of Jordan’s fantastic personality, said Lee.
“He’s funny and his quick wit reveals his keen intelligence,” said Lee, noting this was evident in Jordan’s quick-witted response to Adam Levine in the coaching session. Adam referenced Jordan’s continuous lag behind Adele at the No. 2 spot on iTunes. “Jordan responded, Yeah, she’s like Hello!,” which was a reference to the name of Adele’s song that continued to beat him out at No.1.
Last night Jordan’s rendition of Queen’s cover of “Somebody to Love” bumped Adele’s “Hello” out of the No. 1 spot on iTunes. As of Tuesday afternoon he had three songs in the top 50 on iTunes and four additional songs on the chart as well.
During the clip of Levine’s session, Jordan spoke of his love for choral music.
“Choir has been part of Jordan’s life for many years,” Lee said. In the early years of the Harlan County Children’s Choir Jordan sang with the choir in St. Paul’s chapel in New York City shortly after the tragic events of 9-11.
As a high school student Jordan sang in many auditioned choirs including Kentucky All-State Choir for three years.
“Jordan loves performing with others. While he has always been the standout talent regardless of the style, genre or venue, Jordan never minded standing back and enjoying watching others shine,” she recalled. When he was a senior, he sang The National Anthem with a trio at the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s Girls Sweet Sixteen. Then, more recently and while attending Lee University, he has performed before dignitaries such as the president of the United States as well as the pope.
“It was no surprise to me that singing with a full gospel choir showcased Jordan’s immense vocal gift. He was in his element,” she said.
Lee said the silent communication between Jordan and Levine during this week’s performance was “magical.”
“The twinkle in Jordan’s eye as he seemed to signal to Levine, ‘You’ve asked for it, get ready, here it comes!’ was the audience’s clue that something amazing was about to happen,” she said.
As for the final week and anticipation of the winner of this year’s competition, Lee has faith in her former student.
“You’ve heard the saying, ‘so and so can sing the phone book.’ That saying must have surely been designed to describe Jordan Smith. As has been proven during his time on ‘The Voice.’ Jordan can sing anything from gospel, to pop, to rock. It doesn’t matter if it’s slow, fast, high, low, tender or robust — Jordan has it covered,” she said. “Each week Jordan gets better and better and we all keep wondering how he can possibly top the previous performance. That question was circulating last night at the watch party immediately after his stellar performance. I can’t even imagine what he might do next, but this I know, it will blow our minds!”