He stepped onto the stage of “The Voice” with an acoustic guitar. Lightly strumming, 23-year-old Thunderstorm Artis began to sing The Beatles’ “Blackbird,” a slower, drawn-out version that pulled emotion from each note.

He’d only reached the third line of the song when three of the four coaches on “The Voice” turned their chairs around to get a look at the musician standing before them.

By the time he finished the first chorus, Artis had won over all four coaches — Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, John Legend and Nick Jonas.

Legend, who is known for being more selective when it comes to turning his chair, said Artis had a “magical” tone. The singer-songwriter from Hawaii was a favorite throughout the show’s 18th season, ultimately placing as a runner-up in the competition (the victory went to Todd Tilghman, a pastor from Mississippi).

In the three years since his appearance on “The Voice,” Artis has continued his music career, sharing stages with artists including Jack Johnson and Booker T. Jones, according to his website. This year, the 27-year-old artist joined Train for the band’s summer tour, which included a stop in Salt Lake City.

Now, Artis returns to Utah — this time as an opener for the Zac Brown Band.

Related
Does a show like ‘The Voice’ actually lead to success?
This Mississippi pastor with 8 kids had never sung outside of church. Then he won ‘The Voice’

Who is Thunderstorm Artis?

Artis is from Hawaii and grew up in a large musical family (he’s one of 11 kids). His father, Ron Artis, was a session musician who played keyboards on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” the Deseret News previously reported.

When his father died suddenly from a heart attack, Artis began singing more as a way to cope with his grief, according to the singer’s bio for “The Voice,” per the Deseret News.

The singer-songwriter has released a lot of music since his time on “The Voice.” Last year, his song “Stronger” was featured on the Season 19 premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy” (that version has been streamed more than 4.5 million times on Spotify). Earlier this year, he released “Surprise,” a song about his wife, Faith, who he met after doing his blind audition for “The Voice” in 2020.

“We met randomly at a concert,” Artis told People. “At the time, I didn’t think that true love really existed. And to my surprise, she came into my life and tore down a lot of these walls.

“I’ve always written from a place of pain and turmoil and deep, thought-provoking things,” he continued. “But with ‘Surprise,’ I wanted to go the opposite way. It was the first time that I was able to write about something that I’m super happy about.”

Related
What big shows are coming up in Utah?
View Comments

Most recently, Artis released the single “Stand Up Eight,” which has been streamed more than half a million times on Spotify.

Artis received high praise as the opener for Train earlier this year.

“His emotional covers of ‘Blackbird,’ ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ were brilliant, but his original closing track ‘I’m So In Love With You’ earned him a standing ovation as he left the stage. His wife should be pleased the song he wrote for her brought the crowd to its feet,” Dan Savoie wrote in a review for 519 Magazine.

Now, Artis will be an opener for the Zac Brown Band on select dates, including in Denver on Oct. 13 and at West Valley City’s USANA Amphitheatre on Oct. 14.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.