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The Voice

Did The Voice Contestant Jesse Campbell Really Sleep in His Car?

This week’s episode of The Voice ended with a spectacular performance by Team Christina’s Jesse Campbell, the 42-year-old single dad who blew away the crowd with his rendition of Alicia Keys’ "If I Ain’t Got You." After getting praise from coach Christina, and even a Twitter shout-out from Keys herself, he easily advanced to the live rounds.

But before he was stunning divas, he was sleeping in his car, and that’s the truth.

When we first met Jesse in the blind auditions, the Chicago native wasn’t nearly as jubilant. After finding early musical success, including a duet, “Where is the Love,” from the soundtrack of the movie Dead Presidents, he moved from Illinois to California with his family to pursue his dreams of stardom.

But his life soon turned into his worst nightmare — after he was dropped from his record label, his wife left him alone without any way to support his young daughter, Soraya.

With no money and job, Campbell and Soraya had to resort to sleeping in his car in a grocery store parking lot. Speaking of that time to NBC Chicago, Campbell is surprisingly frank and still positive, saying, "I know that I have a great gift and talent and I am going to be here because I believe California is the best place for me. So if it means that I have sleep in my car then that's what I'm going to do."

After finally finding work as a singer in his church and at various events, he moved in with his brother, and still continued to pursue a music recording career. And, if Monday’s performance was any indication, that gamble obviously paid off.

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03.8.2012 / 09:25 PM EDT by Chelsea Sanders
Related: The Voice, Jesse Campbell

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