Hip Hop and R&B Singers Have a Disadvantage on ‘The Voice’: Here’s Why

While many country artists have snagged the top prize on The Voice $100,000 and a record deal with Universal Music Group — does that necessarily mean said artists have a substantial advantage in the talent competition show? And, if so, how? Why does it seem that certain singers — falling into other genres outside the country and rock spectrums — make it all the way to the top less often? 

The Voice
‘The Voice’ “Blind Auditions” — Pictured: (l-r) Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Blake Shelton | Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

*‘The Voice’ season 17 finale spoilers below*

Jake Hoot won season 17 of The Voice, exciting country enthusiasts and fans of the artist around the nation. However, many fans who aren’t so inclined to listen to Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and Kenny Chesney on the drive home from work issued a simultaneous sigh of disappointment, matched with a lack of surprise and a subtle eye roll. 

This isn’t to say that Jake Hoot didn’t deserve the prize, as he is an incredibly talented vocalist with an impressive range. However, why does it seem like other artists just can’t catch a break on The Voice? 

When you want answers, look towards the stats 

According to Statista.com, rock, pop, and country are the leading music genres among listeners in the United States (as of May 2018). The most popular genre among Americans was rock music, with 56.8% of respondents saying that they listen to music within this genre. In second place: Pop (with 56.1%). Country music comes in third place at 49.9%. 

While these numbers may lead you to wonder why rock and pop artists don’t win The Voice a bit more frequently, we must attribute some trends to the coaches’ respective track records. Blake Shelton has won the show multiple times, and he continues to win often; thus, he likely attracts more country competitors, which, in turn, attracts more country listeners.

Adam Levine’s contestant, Javier Colon won in season one, which was a win more impressive than you may have initially realized given his R&B, funk, and soul sound.

Country, pop, and rock artists already have an advantage when considering the listening habits and genre preferences of Americans overall. Thus, winning The Voice as an R&B or Hip Hop vocalist is a major accomplishment. 

Hip Hop, R&B, and ‘The Voice’

Unfortunately, while The Voice snagged John Legend for a little R&B influence, certain genres are at a disadvantage from the get-go. According to Statista, 38.9% of Americans prefer R&B, leaving the genre in fourth place, while Hip Hop comes in at 37.4%. These genres fall behind the top three genres by over 10%. 

While The Voice demographic may not directly align with the American population overall, it’s unlikely that they are drastically different and that, somehow, though only 37.4% favor Hip Hop, all of them are watching The Voice and voting. Fewer country and rock lovers need to watch and vote to make an impact.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your musical preferences), Rock, Pop, and Country are just more popular in America, and Blake Shelton’s presence and subsequent success on The Voice undoubtedly helps lift the country influence on the show.