In less than a month, Kris Jones went from a blue collar dad with dreams of a music career to one of the biggest internet stars of the new year.
Jones became a household name when his 15-year old daughter, Dayla, recorded a video of him singing the George Jones/Chris Stapleton hit "Tennessee Whiskey." Jones' wife posted the video online and, as they say, the rest is history.
More than 30 million views later, Jones finally got his big break. The married dad of three from Alvarado, Texas, was invited to perform on The Ellen Show after one of the show's producers saw his viral video. Kris, his wife, and their three children were flown to Los Angeles by the show, a trip chronicled by his wife on her Facebook page.
Jones and Dayla appeared on Ellen where they shared the story behind the viral video and Kris's singing background.
"I've been singing my whole life. I started out in the church. I was 10-years old, and my mom....when the choir was singing, I would always try to sneak up there to sing. She was like 'Sit down boy.'" Jones recalls. "One day I was just singing around the house and she's like 'Wait a minute! You can really sing.'"
Jones admits that he pursued a music career for awhile before "life happened."
"I had these kids and my babies needed braces," Jones said laughing. "So, I went to work."
When asked if he had auditioned for American Idol or The Voice, Jones said he tried for both. At the time, he was 5 months too old for American Idol, and he was rejected by The Voice after singing only 7 notes during an audition in Dallas.
But, things have turned around for Kris Jones. He revealed during his Ellen interview that The Voice called him back after his recent viral video and want him to compete next season.
"My wife and I were sitting in the Shell parking lot because we get no cell phone service at home...we live in the country. A call came in from a number we didn't recognize, and the guy had an English accent so we knew it was important," Jones joked. "The guy said, 'Is Kris Jones there? We want to get him on The Voice.'"
Jones followed up the news with a performance of the song that made him an internet star, "Tennessee Whiskey." It was his first ever live television performance, and he nailed it. If his Ellen appearance is any indication, we can plan to see Jones make it far on the next season of The Voice.
Watch Kris Jones' perform "Tennessee Whiskey" and a receive a special surprise from Ellen in the video below.
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