Old Lyme Teen Takes Talents to ‘The Voice’

A 15-year-old Old Lyme High School student hopes to follow in the footsteps of Connecticut natives Javier Colon and Sawyer Fredericks by winning this season of NBC's "The Voice."

Singer and guitarist Braiden Sunshine began his journey on "The Voice" during Monday night's series premiere.

The teen joined a band for the first time when he was 9 years old and has taken his talents to stages across the state.

"I've been doing music ever since I can ever really remember," he told "The Voice" prior to his performance Monday. "This kind of an opportunity could definitely change my life."

Guitar in hand, he crooned Blues Traveler's "The Mountains Win Again," winning over judges Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani, who fought playfully to count Braiden among their team members.

"I've been in a band since I was 17, and I'm also the mother of three boys, so I know how to fight for someone who I really care about and find out who you want to be," Stefani told him.

After much deliberation, Braiden went with Gwen, who hugged him and gifted him a "Team Gwen" T-shirt.

"It was just shocking that somebody that young could have so much tone," Stefani explained. "I can't wait to see what else he can do."

Braiden, for his part, is just getting his feet wet. He looks to last season's winner Sawyer Fredericks, a Newtown native, as his inspiration.

"Watching Pharrell help Sawyer win the competition was really cool, and he was just this small-town kid, so I thought if he can do it, I can at least give it a shot," Braiden said. "Being the youngest here, I want to prove that I'm a real competitor."

There's no shortage of support for Braiden back home. He joined friends and family members to watch his pre-taped audition Monday night back home at Lymes' Youth Service Bureau.

"The first time I met him, he was in third grade and I could just tell he had such great talent," said Connecticut resident and longtime fan Missy Garvin. "I have just seen him grow up through town, seen him come to talent shows that we've done here at the Youth Service Bureau, and every year he just keeps getting better and better and I think he's the perfect person for 'The Voice.'"

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