KILLEEN — When she was 6, living in Germany, Rose Short wrote her first song, which she titled “Angel.”
Now 34, the Killeen resident finds herself with national exposure after a successful blind audition for “The Voice,” which aired Monday night on NBC-TV.
At the audition, Short sang John Legend’s song “Preach.” Legend is also a judge and coach on the show. As a result of her audition, Short earned high praise from judges Kelly Clarkson and Gwen Stefani who turned their chairs. Although Legend did not turn his chair, he said she “slayed” his song.
Since both Clarkson and Stefani wanted Short on their teams, the decision was up to Short. She chose to be on Stefani’s team.
Short’s best friend and manager Taundra Noel Shaw said her song choice was not to just sing a song, but to bring awareness to what is going on in the world with the intention of impacting somebody’s life.
“It’s actually nerve-wracking, but I took it as a challenge,” Short said of singing one of Legend’s songs. “Most people wouldn’t want to perform a coach’s song in front of them.”
She said that some people may consider the move to be trying to suck up or get a shoe-in with Legend, but she still took it as a challenge.
“At the end of the day ... to do something like that, take their song, and sing it not knowing if they’re going to love it or absolutely hate it ... it let me know that I wasn’t afraid to take a risk,” she said.
It’s been a long journey for Short to get to this point.
Short has lived in Killeen since 1996 and graduated from Harker Heights High School in 2002. A high school English teacher recognized her talent and suggested that she attend the Juilliard School in New York City.
Although her collegiate career did not go to the Juilliard School, Short has fond memories of her teacher.
“She always believed in me,” she said.
After high school, Short attended Central Texas College for a short time before disenrolling to focus on writing her own music.
Short is no stranger to the bright lights. She has auditioned for “American Idol,” performed on “Showtime at the Apollo” at the Apollo Theater in New York City and has performed at the Urban Music Fest in Austin.
She tried out for “The Voice” to gain more exposure and to reach a bigger audience.
“It definitely wasn’t of my own will,” Short said. “I was given permission by God. I couldn’t do it on my own.”
When she walked onto the stage and saw the chairs turned around and the crowd, she told herself “‘It’s go time.’”
“It was nerve-wracking, exhilarating and amazing all at the same time,” Short said.
On the night of the blind auditions, Short was accompanied by Shaw, her mother, Evelyn Short, and her aunt Lendy Jones.
“I felt proud,” Short said about walking off the stage to her family.
“I knew that I wouldn’t let them down, whatever the outcome would be, but I felt like I made them proud.”
To Short, the whole situation has been a win.
Throughout the experience, Short hopes to gain more opportunities to perform.
“I don’t want to have access to millions of people and not get any kind of opportunity,” she said.
However, the most important goal for Short is “being a vessel to somebody who has a dream that feel like it may not be in the cards for them to pursue it, and being a beacon of hope for somebody the same way that somebody was a beacon of hope to me,” she said.
Short will next appear in the battle rounds which will begin Oct. 14. The show airs every Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m. on NBC.