Beverly McClellan, a Season 1 contestant of The Voice in 2011, has passed away from cancer. McClellan wowed judges and viewers alike by her powerful voice and ended up making it to the final four. An openly lesbian performer, she began singing publicly in her early 20s and recorded several albums on her own before making it on The Voice.
During her audition for the show, she performed an impressive rendition of Janis Joplin’s infamous “Piece of My Heart.” Both Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera spun their chairs around in hopes of scoring McClellan for their team. The singer ultimately chose Aguilera to be her coach. Though she would not go on to win the entire show, it did provide her with wide name recognition. She would even later appear on the June 2011 cover of SHE magazine, a lesbian publication based in South Florida.
According to Today, McClellan suffered from an aggressive form of endometrial cancer that had already reached Stage 4 by the time she was diagnosed this past March. It quickly spread to her colon, bladder, and intestines. Following her diagnosis, her wife Monique started a GoFundMe page to raise money to offset the cost of treatments. Monique also used the page to share updates of her wife’s quickly progressing condition.
On October 25, Monique shared an update letting fans know that McClellan was reaching the end of her courageous fight against the disease. “OUR Journey is reaching an end,” it read. “Her prognosis is very poor and she wishes to keep her dignity here, in California with her family and the people she chose to also include.”
McClellan would finish her battle with cancer just several days after this final update on her condition. Monique made fans aware of her passing with a public statement.
“Beverly went home at 4:36 pm. She was surrounded by so much love and we shared some beautiful last days,” she wrote. “Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of us. We appreciate all of the love you have given and the good vibes you have sent. Peace love and light to you and your loved ones.”
Other artists, including singer Nakia, also expressed their grief over McClellan’s passing. In a heartfelt tweet, he paid tribute to her amazing talent and even more amazing heart. He shared a video of them performing together and said “Truly a unique soul with a beautiful heart, full of passion & an amazing talent.”
I am absolutely heartbroken. My dear friend & fellow S1 @NBCTheVoice alum, @beverlyshane has died. Truly a unique soul with a beautiful heart, full of passion & an amazing talent. This was us singing @xtina's Beautiful on tour.https://t.co/j7ry4PdkSt ???? @AlTheKiller— Nakia (@Nakia) October 31, 2018