Nerves melt for James Dupre’ on ‘The Voice’

Imagine you’re a singer, seconds away from the biggest break of your life. Four celebrity musicians and producers, with the ability to change your entertainment life, are waiting to hear you perform.

Several million people have tuned in on national TV, too.

Butterflies in your stomach have turned into bulldozers. But when the lights go on, the nerves and anxiety melt away.

Welcome to the world of James Dupre’ and his audition on “The Voice.”

“I was backstage and I knew it was a few minutes before I was about to go on,” said Dupre’, 30, of Bayou Chicot. “I was freaking out inside.

“When the doors open and it was time to walk out, I had this sense of calm, like ‘You know what, I’m about to go out there and do this.’ All the nerves went away. It was really weird. It was great.”

Dupre’ is still dealing with the avalanche of praise from his performance last week on the national singing competition. “The Voice” continues with more blind auditions Monday and Tuesday on NBC.

But Dupre’s fans will now have to wait. The earliest he could possibly be seen on the show again is Oct. 12.

That’s when the battle rounds begin and singers start competing for the grand prize of a recording contract.

A professional singer since 2007, Dupre’ has already experienced a record deal in his music journey. Dupre’ decided to pursue music after an unsuccessful shot at studying meteorology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Tony, an Acadian Ambulance paramedic for 25 years, Dupre’ became a paramedic and worked at Acadian for six years. He also performed music at Lafayette clubs, like Cowboys and the Tap Room, along with the Cotton, Smoked Meat and the Boggy Bayou festivals in his native Evangeline Parish.

Dupre’ was also posting YouTube videos of his music, which caught the eye of TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. In 2010, Dupre’ performed on “Ellen,” which helped him land a contract with Warner Music Nashville.

Dupre’, a divorced father with four sons, moved to Nashville, where he has lived for the past four years. Dupre’ and the label eventually parted ways, a move that later prompted him to try out for “The Voice.”

“I didn’t feel like things were going to work out over there,” said Dupre’ on his label experience. “So I asked to be released from the label.

“Right after that happened, I heard the new season of ‘The Voice’ was about to start auditioning. I was like, why not? It’s a good time for me to try out. If I don’t make it, no big deal. I’ll just continue writing and performing.

“I figured it was a great opportunity. I’m just glad I made the choice to do it.”

As fans await his return to “The Voice,” Dupre’ advises them to stay tuned.

“It’s quite a humbling experience just to see how many people tuned in and reacted to the performance. It’s been amazing.”

“I want to tell everybody from the Acadiana area how grateful I am,” added Dupre’. “Keep watching and supporting.”

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