Jordan Mackenzie Smith (born November 4, 1993) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician from Harlan, Kentucky. Smith began singing in his church choir and continued through his college education at Lee University.
In 2015 he gained national recognition when he won season nine of the singing competition The Voice. During his time on The Voice he was the show’s first artist of the season to reach No. 1 in sales of pop songs in the iTunes Store, and set new sales marks on Billboard charts.
Jordan Smith was born on November 4, 1993, in Whitley County, Kentucky, to Kelley and Geri Smith (née Saylor), both of whom are musicians. They raised him in the church choir at a young age, in the congregation of House of Mercy in the town of Wallins Creek, Kentucky. Smith graduated from Harlan County High School.
In 2012, he won the Poke Sallet Idol competition at the annual Poke Sallet festival.
Smith attended Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, and was a member of the Lee University Singers.
Smith came to national attention in 2015 during his participation on season nine of NBC’s The Voice. His audition performance of “Chandelier” led all four coaches to turn their chairs; Smith chose to be part of Adam Levine’s team after Levine told him, “I think you’re the most important person that’s ever been on this show.”
Smith had auditioned for the show once before and was rejected. Even when he was accepted for the show, he had his doubts until the reactions started pouring in. “I [thought], ‘Wow, people see something in me that honestly I didn’t think was there.’ I thought maybe I had fooled everyone! It took a lot of convincing for me to finally start seeing myself as a performer and artist.” Smith said it was his performance of “Halo” during the live playoffs that allowed him to believe he had “something to say as an artist.” According to Slate, Smith was dubbed “the unicorn” during the show because his voice is “genderless and expansive … as ambiguous as it is precise, quickly scaling and spelunking through octaves, never anything but perfectly on pitch.”
For week two of the live shows, Smith began “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” by singing a cappella, then accompanied himself on piano; the performance made Smith the first artist of the season to reach No. 1 in sales in the iTunes Store, ahead of “Hello” by Adele. “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” landed on the Billboard magazine charts as well; it placed at No. 30 on the Hot 100, and was No. 1 on the Christian Songs chart for two straight weeks. He was again No. 1 on Christian Songs with his recording of “Hallelujah”, which entered the Hot 100 chart at No. 61.