Gwen Sebastian thought she finally got her big break when she joined Blake Shelton’s team in season two of “The Voice.” The North Dakota native had spent many years touring with her band and was ready to begin her solo career when she was axed right before the live shows.
“I just wanted to take the opportunity to share my music,” Sebastian told FOX411 of her decision to try out for the singing competition. “It’s one of those things as an artist that you want to get your music out to as much people as possible.”
While Sebastian was eliminated early on, she was quickly welcomed into the Shelton family when her former coach asked her to sing back up for him on tour.
“After the battle rounds, [Blake] had asked me to come out on the road and join him and it was a jaw dropper moment but it wasn't a hard decision.”
Sebastian continued to work on her own music, including a number one hit duet with Shelton called “My Eyes,” which prompted rumors of an affair.
“Honestly, I just don’t even look at any of rumors,” said Sebastian who is married to drummer Louis Newman. “We all think it’s silly and stupid and we love each other. I don’t know how I can pay back Miranda and Blake -- they're just cool people and I love them.”
There are no hard feelings between Sebastian and Lambert who recorded two songs with the former “Voice” contestant – and Sebastian has a lot more than affair rumors to focus on – the North Dakota native recently released a new single called “Small Town Soul.”
“I really wanted to release something that really told my story and essentially says no matter where I’m going I’ll never forget where I came.”
Sebastian lives on a ranch 14 miles outside of the 900-person town of Hebron, North Dakota where she grew up and 70 miles from the nearest McDonalds. She credits her small town upbringing with helping her to prepare for her professional singing career.
“As cattle ranchers [we’d go] to bed at 2 a.m. and then [get] up at 4 a.m. to feed the cattle,” Sebastian said of her upbringing. “That taught me how to work hard. I still to do this day, no matter where I go, North Dakota is where my heart is.”
All of Sebastian’s hard work paid off; in addition to finding success in her music, she received the opportunity to play at the Grand Old Opry.
“There’s a lot of things to be thankful for, but for me singing at the Grand Ole Opry for the first time is the biggest. “It’s something I always dreamed of as a kid. To stand in that circle is a big privilege.”
The seasoned singer said in the end, it’s all about the music.
“Country music is about the message it’s sending,” said Sebastian. “It’ about what you are telling people, whether its a big party song versus something really intimate like a soldier going off to war. It’s telling a story and that's why people are drawn to it.”
You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.