Craig Wayne Boyd wins The Voice after leaving his fate to God

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, |

LOS ANGELES (Christian Examiner) -- Craig Wayne Boyd's trip from Texas to Tennessee in 2000 was likely an 11-hour drive to Music City, but his 11-year journey to arrive center stage on the music scene finally reached its destination when he walked away champion of NBC's "The Voice" Tuesday night.

Hours before the big reveal of the show's seventh season winner, the country-rock singer told his fans via twitter that win or lose, he was leaving his fate in God's hands.

"Gonna leave it up to the man upstairs!! #SoThankful for the support," he wrote.

Throughout the season, Boyd won over judges and fans with his soul-filled sound and on-point performances. Monday nights' finale featured unreleased, original songs for all of the remaining contestants.

Boyd's " My Baby's Got a Smile on Her Face" was a gift from his coach, country music star Blake Shelton. The song was written for Shelton years ago, but he had not recorded it because of its difficulty. "I have no doubt that you will shred this thing," Shelton told Boyd Monday night.

But it was the 33-year-old native Texan's heart-felt rendition of the hymn "The Old Rugged Cross" that first showed The Voice viewers the range of his musical capabilities and gripping ability to engage an audience. His performance of the Gospel number drew the attention of celebrities like Travis Tritt and the Marshall Tucker Band's Doug Gray.

A country music career is the likely next step for the rising star. If Boyd takes that route, he marks the fourth of Shelton's "Team Blake" to follow that path. According to The Tennessean, other winners gone country include Danielle Bradbery, Cassadee Pope and Racheal Lynn Woodard (better known as RaeLynn).