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Out Houston Singer Stephanie Rice Talks Life After “The Voice”

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Already working on a new album, she’ll perform at Rainbow on the Green in June.

By Marene Gustin

There’s no rest for Houston’s 28-year-old singer/songwriter Stephanie Rice, who ended her run on The Voice last week.

“The day after I was eliminated I sat down and wrote a song,” Rice told OutSmart in an exclusive interview. “It’s a thank you to my supporters.”

And that song will be the first single released from her second album, which she has just finished writing. Rice, and her band Colonial Blue, released their debut album, Dear Misery, last summer, right before she started her wild ride to national TV fame. It was also about the time that her girlfriend proposed to her. When Rice says it’s been a wild year, it’s an understatement.

“I never thought I would get as far as I did on The Voice,” Rice explains. “But it was just an absolutely incredible experience. Working with Alicia Keys was life changing. When Alicia Keys says you’re a musician, then you really are a musician!”

Rice has nothing but praise for Keys and the others on the reality show. “I am so inspired by the experience,” she says. “And I learned so much. There is nothing like performing live on television in front of millions of people. It’s just crazy to think I was able to do that.”

Rice was admired as much for her artistry as for her story of coming out in a small Texarkana town, which led to her parents abandoning her. She put herself through college and taught herself to play guitar, started a band and wound up on season 12 of The Voice.

She made Kelly Clarkson cry when she covered Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece” on the show in February and told her story of how her parents disowned her for being gay. Clarkson tweeted: “Can’t. Stop. Crying. Her vulnerability and her story… just wow. Steph, I hope ur parents open their hearts 2 the beautiful person u r.”

Rice has no idea if her parents were even aware of her stint on national TV, but some fans from her hometown were supportive, and now there is a performance in the works. It will be the first time she’s played a gig there.

“The support from the fans, both here in Houston and on social media was so inspiring,” Rice says of her recent fame. “I feel like a fire has been lit and I’m ready to go.”

The first thing she wants to do is get back in the studio, record that second album she’s just written and then hit the road with her band mates and tour. She’ll be at the House of Blues in Orlando this month but you can catch her and Colonial Blue here at Rainbow on the Green on June 23.

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Marene Gustin

Marene Gustin has written about Texas culture, food, fashion, the arts, and Lone Star politics and crime for television, magazines, the web and newspapers nationwide, and worked in Houston politics for six years. Her freelance work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Austin-American Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Texas Monthly, Dance International, Dance Magazine, the Advocate, Prime Living, InTown magazine, OutSmart magazine and web sites CultureMap Houston and Austin, Eater Houston and Gayot.com, among others.
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