When Maelyn Jarmon first started singing in her backyard in Frisco, Texas, she didn’t realize she had a superpower.
She was only 6, after all.
But 20 years later, with millions watching, she revealed it the world.
On NBC’s megahit singing competition “The Voice,” the little girl who grew up deaf in one ear and with only 80% hearing in the other, performed a breathtaking version of Sting’s “Fields of Gold,” sending all four celebrity judges scrambling to hit their buttons and turn their chairs.
John Legend, who would become Ms. Jarmon’s coach, reached for superlatives, calling her voice precise, powerful, and pure magic. (Legend should know; he is the rare EGOT -- Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award winner.)
Through 12 weeks of grueling competition and beautiful performances, Ms. Jarmon never once struck a sour note, with her voice or her personality. When “Voice” viewers crowned her Season 16 champion on May 21, it seemed almost pre-ordained. But it also served as a valuable reminder: never underestimate the will of a child who doesn’t hear limitations.
“It’s about looking at a disability and not seeing it as a disability,” Ms. Jarmon said during a phone interview a few weeks after her victory. “I've lived with (hearing loss) my whole life and sometimes when I haven't been able to hear myself, I sing based on feeling. That was something I could tap into, so I do really feel like it can be a superpower.”