There are a lucky few who can boast having any contact with Michael Jackson, let alone receiving his priceless advice. And “The Voice” alum Judith Hill is one of them. Despite being eliminated on Tuesday night’s show, Hill has become known for her connection to the late King of Pop, serving as his background singer and duet partner during his final “This Is It” tour.
The connection proved to be a “double-edged sword” for Hill on the competition series, receiving high praise from coaches and criticism from some viewers who felt she was “exploiting” Jackson’s name.
“Yeah, a weird sort of criticism because I didn’t know what it was,” Hill says of the unexpected backlash.
The pressure of living up to the pedestal she was placed on took a toll on Hill, who broke down on camera a couple weeks ago when assigned to perform a tribute to her mentor. Reluctant at first, the soulful diva eventually found the experience to be cathartic.
“It was like a release, kind of, to be able to celebrate Michael — my time with him and everything,” Hill revealed to MTV News.
After Hill’s final performance on Monday night to will.i.am’s “#thatPOWER,” Levine refused to put her in the category of contestant, recognizing her as an “artist.”
Her musical prowess was a forced to be reckoned with on the show, due in part to some invaluable advice she received from Jackson himself.
“Yeah, like sometimes he would say, ’Sometimes you have to let the moment sizzle,’ ” Hill said, fondly remembering the legend.
Although she will be featured in “20 Feet From Stardom,” a musical documentary about the lives of backup singers, Hill is ready to move from the background to the foreground.
And Hill believes that if Jackson were alive, he would fully support her. “He was so, so kind and gracious, he would say, you know, ’It’s your time to shine,’ ” she said. “He said that a lot. I think that he would be very proud of everything I’ve done so far.”
“The Voice” continues its live rounds on Monday when the top 6 go head-to-head.