Season 17 of The Voice wrapped up this week after crowning country singer Jake Hoot as the winner. And he says that his coach Kelly Clarkson was not only a great mentor when it comes to his music career, but she’s also a fantastic example of how someone can balance a busy career with family life.
Hoot – who is a single dad to his four-year-old daughter, Macy – told People magazine that Clarkson taught him how to be a better parent during his time on The Voice, and he is thankful for that experience.
“I’ve met a lot of people in the music industry, and a lot of them have kids and families and sometimes they’re not very present, and sometimes that’s not their priority,” explained the Cookeville, Tennessee native. “And one thing that I’ve always struggled with is if I was ever to do music full time, how bad I wanted to make my family a priority in everything I did.”
Hoot explained that seeing someone at Clarkson’s level be able to be a mom “while holding a million different jobs” meant a lot, and he didn’t know it was possible.
The 31-year-old revealed that he would talk with Clarkson about their respective children almost as much as they talked about anything. He said it was nice to see another parent that puts their family first and is present in their kids’ lives. Hoot said that Clarkson showed him it was possible.
Clarkson is married to Brandon Blackstock, and they share two children – River, 5, and Remington, 3. Clarkson is also step-mom to Savannah, 17, and Seth, 12. In addition to Macy, Hoot’s girlfriend, Bekah, also has a four-year-old daughter named Hadley.
Hoot says that Bekah was just as shocked and blown away as he was when he won The Voice, while Macy and Hadley were excited about the confetti falling from the ceiling. He described winning the show as “a really special moment,” and Hadley can’t stop talking about the fact that Gwen Stefani picked her up.
Now that he is the winner of The Voice, Hoot will receive a $100,000 grand prize. But, he isn’t sure yet how he will spend it. He says that he will try to get through Christmas first and buy the girls some nice gifts. He would also like to travel, and he has his eye on a house in Cookeville that was built in 1900, which is something he’s always wanted.
“So I may be looking at putting a big down payment on that,” said Hoot.
The country singer will also be working on new music, but he doesn’t want to rush an album. As for his relationship with Kelly Clarkson, Jake Hoot says that she is a “wealth of knowledge,” and hopefully he can work with her again someday.
The Voice will return to NBC in 2020 for Season 18.