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  • THE VOICE -- "Live Playoffs" Episode 1414A -- Pictured: Christiana Danielle -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

  • THE VOICE -- "Knockout Rounds" -- Pictured: Christiana Danielle -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

  • THE VOICE -- "Live Top 10" Episode 1417A -- Pictured: Christiana Danielle -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

  • THE VOICE -- "Live Top 11" Episode 1416B -- Pictured: Christiana Danielle -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

  • THE VOICE -- "Blind Auditions" -- Pictured: Christiana Danielle -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

  • THE VOICE -- "Live Playoffs" Episode 1414B -- Pictured: Christiana Danielle -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

  • THE VOICE -- "Battle Rounds" -- Pictured: (l-r) Christiana Danielle, Shana Halligan -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

  • THE VOICE -- "Battle Reality" -- Pictured: (l-r) Christiana Danielle, Shana Halligan -- (Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC)

  • NBC Christiana Danielle Hicks was eliminated from "The Voice" this week and is returning home to Fort Wayne to work on new music.

  • THE VOICE -- "Live Top 11" Episode 1416B -- Pictured: (l-r) Jackie Foster, Britton Buchanan, Alicia Keys, Christiana Danielle -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

  • THE VOICE -- "Live Top 11" Episode 1416A -- Pictured: Christiana Danielle -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Friday, May 11, 2018 2:30 pm

Hicks looking to future after 'Voice' elimination

Local singer planning album, excited to come home

Corey McMaken | The Journal Gazette

Christiana Danielle Hicks may have been dropped from "The Voice" this week, but it doesn't seem to have put a dent in her positive attitude.

The local singer is still quick to laugh while speaking by phone from the East Coast where she is visiting fellow singers that have been eliminated from the NBC singing competition. She will return to Fort Wayne in time for Mother's Day.

Hicks is excited for the homecoming to see her family and check in with women at Charis House and the Rescue Mission, which she volunteered at before leaving for Los Angeles where she has spent the past month competing in live rounds.

"I know I can't wait to just go back and see how everybody is doing," the 23-year-old says.

Crediting the show with helping her grow as a music artist, Hicks has plans to work on an album. Right now, she is doing some songwriting, which includes recording lyrics on her phone to save them for later.

The focus right now is solidifying the sound she wants. She says she is an eclectic artist and her music will appeal to different people for different reasons.

The album is something the Snider High School and Huntington University graduate expects to work on from Fort Wayne, though she will travel to write and work with people as necessary. Having been back and forth to Los Angeles for almost a year to be a part of "The Voice," she knows the fast-paced big city isn't for her.

"I'm definitely a small-town girl," she says with a laugh. "There's definitely no place like home."

The city has returned the love during Hicks' time on "The Voice." Signs have popped up all over town and there is a video of people downtown sharing support for Hicks that she calls heartwarming.

"I just want to thank Fort Wayne so much for your support," she says. "I can't believe it and I can't wait to get back just to personally thank everybody."

"The Voice" is an experience Hicks wouldn't trade for the world, even if she won't be returning to that stage on Monday for the semifinals.

During her run on the show, which ended with Hicks in the top 10, she became known for soulful adaptations of songs, though her single this week was a bit more of a classic than viewers had seen from her. She performed Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," complete with saxophone interlude. It was a departure from more modern pieces such as audition song "Hotline Bling" or the viewer-selected "Umbrella."

Though Hicks went into the show with a list of songs she wanted to sing, sometimes those weren't available because of such issues as ownership rights. Newer songs were often urged, which she says helped her stretch herself as an artist to find a way to make them her own.

Hicks fought to perform Withers' 1971 song, and is glad coach Alicia Keys worked with her to make it a reality.

"With shows like this, you don't always get to do exactly what you want," Hicks says. "I'm so happy that I got to show America the type of music I'm rooted in, where my style and my choices come from."

She is still under contract, but will be free by this summer to plan shows and song releases without seeking permission from the show.

In the meantime, Hicks is promising fans that she will stay active on social media, engaging with them as much as possible.

"Being an introvert, it's really easy for me to go home and just chill," she says, explaining that she doesn't want to stunt her growth coming out of her shell by laying low.

She says she is grateful for her time on the show, especially with Keys who shared nuggets of wisdom.

"I'm just so thankful for all the great moments, for all the uncomfortable moments," Hicks says. "Because all of them pushed me into being a better artist and it really catapulted my career."

cmcmaken@jg.net