She’s the youngest-ever winner of “The Voice.” She’s shared stages with megastars. Her labelmates at Big Machine Records include Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift.
This weekend, country singer Danielle Bradbery’s performance on the Progressive Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular will be aired nationally on ABC. (The first broadcast is 4 p.m. Saturday on WKBW, and the two-hour show will be aired again Feb. 28.)
And she’s only 18.
Bradbery, who won the “The Voice” in 2013, chatted with me in mid-December after the dress rehearsal for the skating and gymnastics show, which was filmed in the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena. Here’s an edited version of our conversation:
Q: You worked with Blake Shelton on “The Voice,” toured with Brad Paisley, and today you’re performing with Olympic skaters and gymnasts. Do these surreal experiences become normal for you?
Bradbery: Sometimes. I get used to it. But inside I still have that fan-girl mind. It’s exciting meeting people you’ve seen and looked up to, and now you’re eye-level with them. It’s crazy, it’s unbelievable to be doing what they’re doing.
Q: How do you suppress that fan-girl frame of mind?
A: I try to stay as calm as I can and have the mindset that they’re normal people too. I just try to make friends.
Q: Do you notice people trying to hold themselves together when they meet you?
A: I see that, yeah, and I’m (thinking), “I kind of know how you feel right now.” I met Carrie Underwood and had the experience of almost getting emotional and having that whole starstruck moment. But a lot of girls and people have that same reaction toward me. It means a lot to me, and it’s cool to connect with them in that way and know what they’re feeling.
Q: How did the meeting with Carrie come about?
A: My first tour was with Brad Paisley and there was a show in Nashville and she was performing with him. We worked it out where I got to meet her. She got a little serious and (said), “I really appreciate what you do. You’re awesome” – that kind of thing. I was like, “The fact that you’re saying this right now…” That’s what kind of got me. It was really awesome to get to do that.
Q: So many country artists – including you – get applauded for their songwriting abilities. What advice do you give to young songwriters?
A: When I get stuck, I go on Pinterest and I see quotes. I don’t copy those quotes but it gives me a mindset of a new picture. I try to backtrack on things, situations I’ve (experienced). I feed off of other people too.
Q: This show is a little different than a typical concert: Your performances are a backdrop for skaters and gymnasts’ routines. Have you done anything like it before?
A: No, and it’s awesome that I get to do this. It’s not so focused on the music part. It’s about other people’s talents, and I love being a part of that. I’m really glad I’m able to do this.
Q: You took the ice earlier and posted an Instagram of yourself falling. Can you skate much?
A (laughing): I can skate, but I can get off balance a little bit!