Ben Allen said he thought of his son, then belted out the sweet, emotional country classic, “There Goes My Life.”
Allen is one of the singers still standing in NBC’s “The Voice.” Earlier this week, he wowed the judges with his rendition of the song made famous by country star Kenny Chesney.
Chesney’s song spent seven weeks at No. 1 this time 17 years ago. The song tells the story of a high school football player and his girlfriend. There is an unexpected pregnancy. Both are thinking “there goes my life.” They marry. A little girl is born. By the end of the song, the little girl is now grown and leaving to go out on her own. By now, “there goes my life,” is the melancholy refrain from a father missing his daughter.
Allen’s voice is deeper than Chesney’s. His cover was as raw and soulful. When he finished, the audience felt the power of the ballad. Gwen Stefani, Allen’s mentor on the show, loved it.
“Well Ben, I just feel real lucky to have you on my team,” Stefani said. “And (the song choice) was really his idea. He really wanted to strip it down and show everybody his voice.
“You really knew what you needed to do right at this moment. It was beautiful, it was really, really nice to hear your voice like that. It was perfectly in tune.
“You have a distinctive style in your voice, so very original. I was really proud of that even though we’re just getting to know each other. Amazing.”
On Tuesday night’s show, Stefani kept Allen around. “The Voice” is down to nine singers.
Some Ben Allen Background
Allen is 43. He picked up the guitar at 30 and taught himself how to play by watching YouTube videos. His first performance was at an open-mic night at a local bowling alley.
By day, he works as a construction inspector in southwest Florida. He plays in the Ben Allen Band as a side hustle he’d like to may full time.
During the blind auditions, three coaches wanted Allen. He chose Blake Shelton over Stefani and John Legend. But last month, Shelton chose another act. Stefani, Allen’s fiance, stole Allen away.
After he sang the Chesney song, Allen talked of his son.
“I told him on the phone 20 minutes before I went on stage that I was singing this for him,” Allen said. “And that I was going to be thinking about him while I was out there singing.”