Above, Aliyah Moulden and her coach, Blake Shelton, on the set of ‘The Voice.’
When singing sensation Aliyah Moulden advanced Monday night to the Final 12 on NBC’s hit show, “The Voice,” she couldn’t have been any more thrilled than the kids at Hooper Avenue Elementary School in South Los Angeles, where the 15-year old’s mom teaches second grade.
“Aliyah’s biggest fan group is at Hooper,” said Martha Jimenez, whose daughter wowed audiences during the live playoffs with her rendition of “Mercy.” Aliyah won her raves from her coach, country singer Blake Shelton, and votes from the audience, giving her the opportunity to move onto the next round.
Jimenez said her fellow teachers and her principal, Gustavo Ortiz, have been ardent supporters of the aspiring star. Aliyah frequently visits her mom’s second-grade classroom and reads to the kids. She also has been introduced to the audience during school assemblies.
“They get so excited, they ask for her autograph and look up to her,” Jimenez said.
Aliyah’s father died when she was just a month old, and Jimenez has raised her daughter on her own since then. She recalls that her daughter discovered a love of music at an early age.
“She’s always been motivated and persistent since she was 7 years old,” Jimenez said. “That’s when Aliyah knew she wanted to be a singer.”
Aliyah’s success on “The Voice” follows a long and arduous process, with roughly 200,000 aspiring performers trying out for the show. She advanced as the field narrowed and was tapped to appear on the show when a producer caught her performance on a YouTube video.
Jimenez was initially reluctant to have her teenage daughter involved in the show, but said she has no regrets about her decision to allow Aliyah to compete.
“Aliyah has been treated very well and it’s been a wonderful experience,” Jimenez said. “The staff is wonderful.”
Aliyah is not the only competitor on “The Voice” with an L.A. Unified connection. Quizz Swanigan, an eighth-grader at Porter Ranch Community School, is set to compete in the live playoffs tonight as a member of Gwen Stafani’s team.
Aliyah goes to school near her home in La Habra, but is currently being tutored so she can focus on “The Voice” competition.
“I don’t want to let Blake down,” she said. “I want to win.”