The star of ‘80s classics like “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure,” “Valley Girl” and the voice of Tommy Pickles on “Rugrats,” E.G. Daily is the unlikely breakout star of NBC’s hit singing competition, “The Voice.”
“‘Honestly, it was a complete fluke,” Daily told FOX411 exclusively. “I went on the audition on a whim, for fun and it ended up being a prolonged process of auditioning. I didn’t get any special treatment. I guess they see almost 50,000 people for the season. They don’t care about your age. They don’t care about what you look like. They want to hear your voice on that show, which to me is so incredible.”
Perhaps best known for her behind-the-scenes voice work in animation, Daily briefly had a record deal in the ‘80s. She even performed on “American Bandstand” with the legendary Dick Clark, who declared her “an extraordinary talent.” But Daily maintains that appearing on “The Voice” gave her the biggest exposure of her career.
“The thing that’s so cool about [being on ‘The Voice’] is that I have more wisdom and peace than I’ve ever had in my life, so I can appreciate it. I’m not looking into the future or worrying about what’s going to come. I’m actually in the moment, going, ‘Oh my god–I’m on Team Blake.’”
Daily chose to work with country music star Blake Shelton over R&B star CeeLo Green in part, because, Shelton wasn’t familiar with her previous work.
“I wish I could have worked with both of them,” Daily explained. “But I kind of liked the fact that Blake didn’t know anything about me. I wanted it to be just about the voice. I didn’t want it to be about me being Dottie in ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.’ And I love country music, that’s my thing. I was raised half on a ranch and half in Hollywood, so I always had this sort of wild, country girl part of me.”
Daily, who turned 52 on September 11, admits that aging in Hollywood is no picnic.
“It’s very painful, getting older,” she said. “You can Botox your face until you’re blue, but the truth is, you’re still getting older. Again, I don’t have anything against any of that. Do little improvements on yourself, do whatever you want to do to make yourself feel good. But you still have to embrace the beauty of getting older.”
Getting older also led to a serious bout of depression for Daily.
“I went through a period just within the last few years where I went through a really dark, dark time. Things got really tough internally for me. I was really sad about some things and I had some depression and I had anxiety, and it’s painful. During that period, it was all based… feeling like, ‘Oh my god, if you’re getting older, does that mean that you can’t pursue your dreams anymore? Is that what that means?’ And you know, I bought it. I bought into that, and it almost killed me.”
When Daily returned to her musical roots, things in her life started to turn around.
“I started to really work on my inside and my spiritual life and what I really started tapping back into was who I was at this age and what I want from my life,” she explained. “That’s when I started singing actively again. It started to open my world up again and waking up to what the truth is: You can be 105! Just open your mouth and sing a little, and if it makes you happy, then you should be doing it.”
Now, Daily is happily in a relationship with writer Jameson Hesse and is raising her two children with ex-husband, Rick Salomon, who co-starred in Paris Hilton’s infamous sex tape.
“He’s, like, one of my best friends, like he is literally my family,” Daily said of Salomon, who is now dating Pamela Anderson. “I’m really close with him. The kids were raised with me, they live with me. I was the mom. We didn’t have the thing where they went three days a week to their dad’s. We just didn’t do that. They were here and he could come here and visit. It was just more stable for the kids and that just worked for us. So I raised them in my house, once we divorced. He’s family for me. He’s my kids’ dad.”
Daily, Salomon and Anderson all pitch in with the parenting.
“Honestly, I think Pam is beautiful and sweet and I think she’s a really cool woman and I appreciate her a lot,” said Daily. “She’s beautiful and sweet with my children, so as long as they’re happy, I’m happy for them… She’s a doll, and we love her kids, too. I think everybody’s in it for the big picture and the big pictures is that the kids don’t have to see weird, small-thinking [people]. You rise above everything and get what’s important, that the kids know that they’re loved and everybody around them loves them and the parents are not miserable with each other. I just thank God we don’t have that. I can go to Rick’s house and Pam will be there and our kids will be there, and it’s awesome.”
With her personal and professional life on the upswing, getting a record deal on “The Voice” is not exactly a priority for Daily.
“To me, I feel like I have already won,” she said. “I mean, I got to sing, ‘Breathe’ on national TV!”