Iowan Voice Contestant Has Helped Raise Millions For Alzheimer’s
Last night a musician born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, performed on the 22nd season of the Voice. His name is Jay Allen and he performed a cover of the Cody Johson song "Til You Can't." His performance earned him a chance to pick between either being a part of team Blake or Team Gwen. He told his 55 thousand followers on Instagram it was a moment that changed everything.
While I don't want to just blow past an incredible moment for Jay, his family, and his friends, there is something even more impressive about his and his family's story that deserves to be front and center.
Back in 2018, Jay wrote a song that was dedicated to his mom, Sherry Rich. The song was inspired by her fight with Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia, which is a disease that involves parts of the brain that can control your thought, memory, and language.
Jay wrote a song called Blank Stares, which captured hearts around the world as he often performed the song with his mother by his side on stage.
The video of Jay and his mother has been seen by over 500 million viewers on Facebook and has since helped Jay raise over $50 million dollars to help the fight against Alzheimer's, according to Jay Allen Official. In an interview with The Tennessean, Jay remembers performing this song in Iowa and realizing this song might be a pretty big deal and he was right.
That’s when it hit me. I felt like this song is going to move mountains.
Sadly, Jay's mother has passed away in 2019 at age 54 but Jay continues his fight against the disease. Videos of Jay and his mom have been viewed hundreds of millions of times on the internet. That song has allowed Jay to be a part of concerts and other fundraisers going towards Alzheimer's, which has totaled over $50 million dollars for research.
Jay being able to join the voice can only help to grow his audience and his dedication to helping fight this disease. He told the Tennessean.
Now I get to tell Mom’s story in a whole new way to a whole new audience.
Jay and his family's story began in Cedar Falls, Iowa, to now living in Nashville and bringing that story to a national stage with The Voice. In this video you can see Jay's performance of Till You Can't.
After the performance, the judges heard his and his mother's story and asked him to play a bit of his Blank Stares song. It was a moment that brought Gwen Stefani to tears. Coach John Legend told Jay "I'm so impressed by you and the way you use music to tell your story, I think it's so powerful. We're so fortunate to have you on the show, so thank you for being here."
I think it'd be safe to say the crowd agreed with John.