This installment of Billboard's "Candid Covers" video series, presented by Nikon, captures Lucca performing Withers' "Grandma's Hands."
Tony Lucca shared his emotive singing skills far and wide as he competed on "The Voice" last year. And now, after a big 2013 in which he wowed listeners both on tour and on record, he visited Billboard's New York studios to bring those vocal talents to bear on a vintage soul track close to his heart, Bill Withers' 1971 song "Grandma's Hands," which you can watch above.
|PHOTOS: Tony Lucca's Candid Covers Session|
Withers' song is important to him, Lucca explains, because it captures warm, special moments he felt with his own grandmother. "It reminded me so much of my grandma -- something about that sense of compassion, that spirit of proverbial wisdom that a grandma has, and somehow the hands just kind of embody that," Lucca says. "My grandma was a wonderful person, and she did 'clap her hands in church on Sunday,' you know?," he laughs, invoking a line of the song. so it's fun to recall her when I play that song.
Lucca's "Candid Covers" performance of "Grandma's Hands," came toward the end of a momentous year for the singer. He's come a long way since being a Mouseketeer alongside Christina Aguilera when they were both kids. Since finishing third on "The Voice" last year, he's signed to his "Voice" mentor Adam Levine's label 222, released his "With The World Watching" EP this summer, and gone on the road, including dates this fall with Levine's band Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson.
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He remembers it was a very specific moment when music bested other entertainment world career ideas in his adult life. "I was at an audition and I'm sitting there reading my lines in the waiting area and there's like six or seven other Tony Luccas," he says. "On paper we are the same dude. We're all the same height, same build, same thing. What am I going to do that's just different enough? What's the difference between any of us? I just remember really feeling I was at the mercy of something so subjective." He adds, "I had this epiphany. I stood up, signed my name out, and I called my manager later on and said I'm done. And I went home and I literally picked up the guitar and got back to it."
Lucca's visit to Billboard's studios reinforces his feeling that, "music was always my first love." Along with his Withers cover, our cameras also captured a gallery of photos of the session and his performance of two of his own songs, "Never Gonna Let You Go" and "Here Ya Say," which you can watch below.
Video: Tony Lucca - "Never Gonna Let You Go" Live at Billboard
Video: Tony Lucca - "Hear Ya Say" Live at Billboard