Thursday, March 30, 2023

High note

Canton singer joins Shelton’s Voice team

Grace Rembinski West
Grace Rembinski West shares designations as both the first and the last on the NBC TV singing competition The Voice.

The Plymouth High School graduate is the very first Canton Township native to perform on The Voice and is the last team-member who will ever be selected by judge Blake Shelton. The 19-year-old chose Shelton as her coach during the blind audition competitions last week. Shelton told her in his bid against Niall Horan to be her coach that he would be “honored for you to be the last person I ever hit this freaking, worn-out button for.”

Horan was also eager to have West as a member of his team telling her that he was sure “America is going to love you.”

West noted that music has always been a part of her life. She said that while she was growing up in Canton, she would walk up and down the aisles at Toys R Us strumming a toy guitar. She sang nearly every week at her church and performed at family holiday gatherings.  She said one of her musical influences was Johnny Cash and she and her father would listen to Cash while on fishing trips. Her grandfather, too, was a strong influence on her love of music, she said, and taught her to play the guitar when she was very young. While in high school, she began to write her own music and performed locally whenever the opportunity arose.

Following a local singing competition, her talent caught the attention of Mucho Love publishing when she was only 12. She signed a songwriting contract with the Nashville based music publishers when she was 16. 

Her parents, Dale and Jill Rembinski, have always been supportive of their daughter’s musical dreams. The entire family moved to Nashville following West’s high school graduation in 2021 to help further her musical career. While both her parents worked in the medical field, they now concentrate on West’s goals.  

She performs in Nashville clubs and works as a part-time dog walker while she continues to compose original music.

“It’s probably the most vulnerable thing a person can do,” she said about songwriting. “Here’s all my secrets and here’s everything about me and I’m going to write about it all.”

Despite their constant good-natured squabbling and insults, judge Kelly Clarkson supported Shelton’s bid for West on his team. Clarkson, in a rare serious moment among the judges, advised West that her best coach to succeed on the show was Shelton. West now joins 40 contestants, including former Northville resident Chloe Abbot, a four-time All American track star from the University of Kentucky. Abbot, now training for the next Olympics,  joined Chance the Rapper’s team on The Voice earlier in the auditions. The contestants now move on through the competition until public voting chooses the winner.

“Grace is the perfect female country singer,” Shelton said.