Luke Combs performs at the Concerts for Conservation as a part of the Bass Pro Shops World’s Fishing Fair in Springfield, Missouri on March 31, 2022 (
Kyle Rivas/Getty Images for Bass Pro Shops

Luke Combs + More Country Stars Who Were Once Rejected by 'The Voice' 

Competing on and winning singing competition shows has proven to be one successful way to kick off a career in country music, and some of music's biggest stars have come from singing competition shows. Many have come from American Idol, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, and more. But other country singers have come out of The Voice as well, such as RaeLynn, Danielle Bradbery, The Swon Brothers, and Cassadee Pope.

In their search for their next star, talent shows like American Idol and The Voice must turn down a lot of candidates, and sometimes, those rejected contestants go on to have success in music without the help of a national television show. We've already run down the list of the many current country artists that were turned down by American Idol, such as Chris Lane, Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton, Lady A's Hillary Scott, Jimmie Allen, and more, but it turns out there were more huge Nashville country stars rejected by The Voice. 

Maren Morris

Maren Morris is one of the biggest singers in current country music. With many CMA Awards, ACM Awards and one Grammy award, the singer-songwriter has made her mark on music with hits such as "My Church," "I Could Use A Love Song," "The Bones" and more. And Morris tackled all these accomplishments despite experiencing early rejection in her career. Not only was Morris rejected by American Idol and America's Got Talent, but she also tried out for NBC's The Voice to no avail. However, the Texas native has said many times that she's glad those competition shows never accepted her, and she does get to have a sort of "sweet revenge."

"Now people cover my songs for their auditions on those shows," the vocalist told Andy Cohen during an appearance on the Watch What Happens Live After Show. "So it's like, not only is it really nice to have my song on a national television show, I get to collect the check and have some sweet revenge." 

Luke Combs 

With his country powerhouse voice and endless Billboard hit songs, it's hard to believe any talent show or music industry executive would turn down country star Luke Combs. But, like Morris, the Georgia-born singer is another country star rejected by The Voice. Combs was cut during the preliminary auditions, so he never got in front of coaches like Blake Shelton. The show sent him a letter informing him of the news, citing that he wasn't "interesting" enough for the show. However, Combs only became motivated after the experience.

"It gave me a lot of confidence because I was good enough voice-wise to make it through all those producer auditions," he told Whiskey Riff. In a full-circle moment, The Voice coach Blake Shelton once commented on Combs' story about being dropped by the show.

"There's no way around it, it's embarrassing. I mean, Let's just face it," said Shelton during a radio interview on Lon Helton's Country Countdown USA

"Well, Luke told me that he kept his rejection letter, his letter saying we're not gonna put you on the show," Shelton continued. "He said he put that in his dorm room in college and he hung it on the wall to push him on, something to fight for. I don't know if he still has that letter or not, but if he does, I think he should frame it and put it next to his first triple-platinum album that he has."

Jimmie Allen

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 03: Jimmie Allen attends the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

He's now a country superstar with a CMA Best New Artist win under his belt, but Jimmie Allen was once an aspiring The Voice contestant.

When Allen appeared on season 22 as a Battle Advisor for Team Blake, the "Best Shot" singer reflected on his audition for the hit series.

"Yeah, I've tried out for The Voice twice," Allen said. "My bass player Tate did it and made it farther than I did."

As mentioned before, The Voice wasn't Allen's only brush with reality show fame. The singer appeared on season 10 of American Idol and made it through the audition stage. More recently, he impressed the judges on season 30 of Dancing With the Stars.


Editors Note: This article was originally published on June 15, 2021.