If it’s one thing that the South has its roots set in then its family--family get togethers, Sunday family dinners, family outings and spending time with those closest to you.
There’s nothing that beats the warm feeling of rounding up the family into the living room on the couch, pulling the blankets over your lap, popping in a movie and snacking on popcorn as the intro rolls onto the TV screen on a Saturday night.
Kaleb Lee can testify to that. The Western Kentucky native, who was on Season 14 of “The Voice” and finished in the Top 6 on Kelly Clarkson’s team, has a close relationship with his family, which has been a central part of his career.
“My wife and I got married really young. I was in Nashville at the time, kind of working through you know just like everybody else just trying to make something happen,” Lee said. “I had a record deal opportunity that went south and … we just decided it was a season for us to go spend time with family. We were newly married, had a baby and another one on the way.”
The singer/songwriter and his family moved to Florida where music became an afterthought, instead focusing on being the best husband and father. It was during this time that Lee and his wife, Meagan, decided to go through with an adoption.
The couple always knew they wanted to adopt, so after their second child was born and had turned six months old, they started the adoption process which would take three and a half years to finalize the adoption and bring their son Johander home to join his sisters Graelynn and Lily.
“I think we picked him up … right before Christmas and he was 11 months old and he’s five years old now and all boy,” Lee said with a slight chuckle. “We’re blessed to have him and just a part of our family. The girls love him, the whole family loves him, just like he was our biological child.”
Although music had at that moment become an afterthought for Lee, his chance at the music career he had been trying to start would come calling him in the form of the blind auditions on “The Voice.”
“Then all of a sudden, “The Voice” reaches out and asks me if I’d be willing to audition and my wife has always been my biggest fan, so she’s always pushed me to do more,” Lee said. “So we thought might as well, we have nothing to lose and here I am, almost two years later.”
Now, after his time on “The Voice,” Lee has been working on his music, touring the country and above all making sure that his family is a part of the process.
“We try to engage the family as much as we can. My wife’s with me here this week and my kids were here for a couple of days,” Lee said about his family coming to CMA Fest 2019 in Nashville with him. “They went to go see their grandparents, so when we can, we try to bring the family along.
“But, it’s still touring, still gone a lot, still gone away from family a lot, which is unfortunate,” Lee added. “The good thing I have, is my family loves what I do and they love that I get to do what I love to do. So, that’s all that matters.”
He recently released a summer song, “Cooler Weather,” about a cooler with beer in it and it has been super receptive with fans. His next songs will be coming out throughout the summer.
“What I’m super excited about is one of the songs, probably August when it’ll be coming out that’ll be the third single, is a song with Kelly Clarkson,” Lee said. “She’s singing with me on it and super excited about that. Great song, obviously Kelly’s awesome.”
The album will be a mix of Lee accompanied with a guitar to songs like “Cooler Weather” and “I Need a Drink,” which Lee described as a fun, summer tune. The music will tell fans about Lee, who in between working on his music and finding time for family, Lee said he likes to spend time outside--hunting and fishing--which is a therapeutic release for him.
Even though 10 years ago Lee chose responsibility over his music to focus on his family, saying it wasn’t the right time for his music career, he encouraged those looking to get into the music industry to do everything they can to make it happen, but also look out for themselves.
“If this is really what you love to do, do whatever you got to do to make it happen,” Lee said. “Sometimes that means sometime life happens and you got to take care of life, take care of yourself first, but do whatever you got to do to make music happen. That’s what I’ve learned throughout this process.”
And that’s what Lee is focusing now, balancing his music with his family life and finding moments to sit down with his family in front of the TV for a family movie night whenever he’s in town.
“I’ve got the best of both worlds and so the encouragement I would give to people is to stick at it, stick with it, keep doing it,” Lee said. “But don’t forget your family, don’t forget your friends and hopefully one day, you’ll be in the same boat I am right now.”