The boot-stomping country singer has definitely taken season 17 of The Voice by storm. Throughout the show, Jake Hoot has impressed viewers week after week. He delivered nothing but incredible performances that it was no longer a surprise when he kept on earning the highest number of Apple Music streams among the contestants.
Here’s more to know about the potential breakout country star.
1. He grew up in the Dominican Republic.
Though Jake Hoot is a native of Texas, he actually spent most of his younger years far away from the second-largest state. He is one of the nine siblings in his family – the second oldest to parents Aaron and Stacey Hoot, who are Baptist missionaries.
When he was nine years old, the Hoots moved to the Dominican Republic, where his parents were stationed doing missionary work for a full decade. That’s where he learned to sing, play guitar, and speak fluent Spanish. Hoot admits that his island upbringing influenced his musical style.
“Growing up, I was always a huge fan of classic country and rock, but having lived in the Dominican, I think there’s a little bit of an island feel to my music as well,” he said.
2. He started performing in college.
Jake Hoot and his family once again moved to Cookeville, Tennessee – just about an hour east of Nashville – during his late teens. After graduating high school, he enrolled in Tennessee Tech University, where he soon started playing regular gigs around the area. He became a frequent performer at local college bars and restaurants.
“I’ve been playing for about six-seven years. It’s been a fun road. Starting out, I didn’t even have a pick-up and a guitar … it’s been an interesting ride, but it’s been a great one,” Hoot said.
3. He was a college football player.
Although Jake Hoot found his love for music in college, it wasn’t his only focus. Standing at 6’6″, Hoot landed on the Tennessee Tech football team.
Hoot credits his football days at Tennessee Tech to what he is now. He said he might not have been competing on The Voice if it wasn’t for them. His teammates were actually the ones who convinced him to start performing at open mics and to pursue music.
4. He got different day jobs.
When Jake Hoot graduated from college in 2013, he had had a diverse career path since then, from working in a zinc mine to being a demolition crew in New Orleans and then as an electric crew in Houston.
He also received offers to teach, but he “really wanted to get out and do something outside the classroom.” Until he heard about a job opening at one radio station, where he worked as a sales executive for six years.
5. He’s been active with missionary work too.
Jake Hoot posted on his Instagram account about his missionary work to Nicaragua and how it truly changed his life.
“A little over a year ago, I had the humbling honor of getting to visit Nicaragua on a missions trip!” the singer wrote. “It truly changed my life getting to know so many great people and learning so much about their culture! But I also saw so much need for so many things that we take for granted everyday. Food, clothes, roof over their heads, and most of all, the love of God.”
6. He’s a devoted father to his daughter.
In the meantime, Jake Hoot is taking his career step by step as he balances stardom against his personal life, being a single father to four-year-old Macy.
“I’m a dad first. I don’t ever want to not be present in her life,” Hoot asserted. “She’s only four, so I don’t think she fully grasps everything that’s going on and everything that’s happening, but you know, she’s been excited…I think the biggest thing right now is just trying to balance all that and be a dad.”
Though Hoot gave many followers a glimpse of his life as a single parent on his social media account, details about Jake Hoot’s ex-wife as well as their divorce have not been made public in any interviews.
7. He’s now happily engaged.
Jake Hoot’s love life is far from over. The country singer proposed to his long-time girlfriend, Brittney Nicole Hoyt, during a trip to Hoyt’s hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, last year. He got down on one knee in front of Hoyt’s family and his mother. They both ended up so emotional that Hoot had to wrestle Hoyt to put the ring on her hand.
Jake Hoot’s wife-to-be was definitely over the moon. Their engagement happens seven years after their first meeting at their best friend’s wedding, where they were also the wedding singers.
8. He has made his Grand Ole Opry debut
Jake Hoot reached another milestone in his career – performing at the revered circle on the Grand Ole Opry stage.
Hoot performed some of our favorites from The Voice. These are “That Ain’t My Truck,” an acoustic rendition of “Cover Me Up,” and his current single “Better Off Without You.” He got standing ovations after each song. Hoot can’t help but be in tears in this emotional moment as he was thanking his family, friends, fans, and of course, the Opry for making one of his dreams come true – and that’s to play on the stage of one of the country’s most treasured institutions.
9. He never imagined he’d win The Voice.
Growing up, Jake Hoot couldn’t even watch TV, so never in his wildest dream to win a reality TV talent competition.
“Never in a million years. I would have never thought when I auditioned a year ago that I would be here now,” Hoot acknowledged. “The Voice opened so many doors, and I made so many great connections, not only with contestants but people after the fact now. There’s just so many things that have happened that I’m just very blessed. I can’t complain.”
10. He got some advice for the up-and-coming artists.
Jake Hoot’s faith is the “primary thing in [his] life,” so when asked what advice he could give to up-and-coming artists, the singer said to “keep God first.”
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