Country singer Emily Ann Roberts was still in high school when she became an overnight star, thanks to her appearance on the popular television talent competition The Voice. Roberts was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on October 23, 1998, and she grew up in a family of music fans; her earliest memories include listening to artists such as Ricky Skaggs and Patty Loveless while riding in the car with her father. Roberts' dad played guitar, and when she was in sixth grade, she began singing to her father's accompaniment; Roberts also sang gospel songs with her grandmother, and she became determined to keep their sound alive when her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Roberts began taking guitar lessons at the age of 13, and within a few months she was teaching herself country and bluegrass riffs. Roberts became a fixture at Knoxville venues such as El Charro and Clancy's Tavern, and local radio station WDVX tapped her to appear on their daily live broadcast Blue Plate Special.
In the fall of 2015, 17-year-old Roberts was chosen to compete on the music competition series The Voice, and during her blind audition with the song "I Hope You Dance," she got two chair turns from judges Blake Shelton and Adam Levine; Shelton became her coach on the show. During her run on The Voice, four of Roberts' performances were released as digital singles; the lowest charting release, "Blame It on Your Heart," just missed the Hot Country Songs Top 40, peaking at 43, while "She's Got You" fared much better, rising to 21 on the country survey and also entering the lower reaches of the pop singles chart at 103. Roberts also made the Hot Christian Songs chart with "In the Garden," which peaked at number three on the Christian chart and 34 as a country track. On the season finale of The Voice, Roberts came in second place, edged out of the top slot by Jordan Smith. In 2016, 11 of Roberts' performances from her run on The Voice were compiled into a digital album, The Complete Season 9 Collection. ~ Mark Deming