NEWARK, NJ – Less than a week removed from “The Voice” (Season 12), New Jersey native Autumn Turner will be performing in front of her largest live audience to date when she sings the National Anthem at the Prudential Center on Thursday evening before the New Jersey Devils take the ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins for the team’s second to last home game of the season.
The Devils’ final home stand is being billed as its Fan Appreciation Week, which features a variety of prizes, giveaways and special events outside the arena on Championship Plaza, so there figures to be a healthy crowd in attendance.
A large audience, however, won’t intimidate the charismatic Turner, who persuaded all four coaches on her talents with her rendition of Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” during the blind audition stage.
“I always feel more comfortable in front of a bigger crowd for whatever reason,” suggested Turner, a long-time figure skating coach who teaches at the South Mountain Recreation Complex. “I think that intimacy when it’s like four or five people can be intimidating. I’ve sang the National Anthem at a lot of events, but nothing compares to the Devils. I’m just so honored for this opportunity because how many people can say that they’ve done this?”
Although she was not a finalist on “The Voice”, the 25-year old singer made a lasting impact on her aspiring career as a vocalist.
“I learned more about myself working with Alicia (Keys) and Adam (Levine), and for that, I am grateful,” said Turner, who started singing at four years old and grew up performing in church and choirs. “They taught me so much about changing the dynamic of music. It’s crazy when I think about it to know how much I learned in such a small amount of time – some days I can’t wrap my head around it and I question if it was real or not.”
Turner, a 2009 graduate of Montclair’s Lacordaire Academy, was a recipient of the 2017 Althea Gibson Leadership Award that recognizes women who want to make a positive difference in the Essex County community. During her formative years, she grew up in Montclair, East Orange and Bloomfield.
“The award was such an honor because I always strived to be the type of role model that people look up to, but I didn’t think it would start happening at the age of 25,” explained Turner, who was raised by a single mother. “It’s kind of a surreal experience for me. I want to lead by example; I can’t be the type of person that says one thing and does the opposite.”
While Turner’s appearance on “The Voice” did not result in win, she plans to continue pursuing her signing her career. In fact, it has defined a clearer vision of her goals.
“After Monday’s episode, I’ve received so many phone calls and text messages and such a strong amount of support,” Turner said. “I don’t see me stopping this momentum. Next year I see myself in a studio recording a lot of music with my own band to continue appealing to my fan base.”