Jamaican singer Tessanne Chin sang landmark songs associated with the Beatles and Whitney Houston for her final performance on “The Voice” and walked away with the season five crown.
New Jersey teenager Jacquie Lee came in second, journeyman musician Will Champlin was third in the voting.
Chin, who has worked with Jimmy Cliff, Third World and Ky-mani Marley, clearly clicked with audiences on her version of the Houston hit “I Have Nothing,” which sat at No. 1 on the iTunes singles chart for hours. “Let It Be,” which she sang with her coach Adam Levine, was also in the top three during the voting period.
“I never felt safe,” Chin said after Monday’s performance. “Not until last week.”
Chin clearly saved her best for last. None of her recordings reached Billboard’s charts during the season though her rendition of Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is poised to enter the Hot Digital Songs chart on Wednesday on sales of 60,000. Her biggest seller previously was her take on Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross,” which sold 24,000, according to SoundScan.
While Chin says she does not intend to make a reggae record, the style “will always be a part of what I do,” she said after Monday’s performances. “Maybe not in a direct sense, but my music will always have that (swagger). It’s who I am. I think the key to making great music is to stay true to yourself so (the listener) can relate to that.”
Tuesday’s finale included a Lady Gaga-Christina Aguilera duet and performances from OneRepublic, Celine Dion and previously eliminated performers from this season. The sixth season of the “The Voice,” with Shakira and Usher replacing CeeLo Green and Aguilera, will premiere Feb. 24 and 25.