Daughter of Fairfield Alums in Finale of “The Voice”
As a child in elementary school, Jacquie Lee, the daughter of Fairfield alumni couple Denise ’88 and Rich Lee ’87, was so shy about singing in public that she would sing to her family from a closet.
Now, Jacquie’s is one of just three final contestants on the popular competitive NBC show, The Voice, having risen to this status from among the 350,000 individuals who auditioned for the show. At just 16 years old, and coached by superstar Christina Aguilera, Jacquie is the youngest performer to get this far in the competition. Next Monday’s competition will showcase the final three, after which the singer with the most votes from a national television audience will be the new “Voice.”
It has been a long, amazing, intense time for the entire Lee family, who live in Colts Neck, N.J.
For much of the summer and for the past two months, Jacquie’s mother Denise Lee, who graduated from Fairfield in 1988 with a double-major in French and communications, has been with her daughter in Los Angeles and will remain there until the conclusion of the competition next week. While in LA, Jacquie has been busy non-stop rehearsing, filming pre-recorded segments of the show, and trying to keep up with her high school studies—which include pre-calculus, Mandarin, and history.
Jacquie’s father, Rich Lee ’87, graduated with a degree in accounting and recently retired from a job on Wall Street as a fixed income trader. On the weekends he flies to Los Angeles for the live performances on Mondays along with Jacquie’s younger brother.
Whether Jacquie wins the competition or not next Monday, the experience has been life-changing. In an email to Jacquie’s friends and followers, her father wrote the following:
“…This competition has been an incredible experience, not just for my daughter, but for the entire community...It has provided a fun, positive distraction from the problems/challenges that we all face on a daily basis. It has given us a reason to be proud of where we come from, and has provided us with another example of what can happen if you follow your dreams. Although only 16 years old, Jacquie has been told, on numerous occasions, that she has become a role model to today’s young children, and it is an honor that she takes seriously...It warms my heart to watch her grow in front of my eyes, both personally and professionally, and although her life has drastically changed in many regards, I am confident that she will remain the humble, well-grounded young woman that we all know...
I can honestly say that although none of us expected Jacquie to attain the type of success that she has seen on the show, I always knew that she was a special girl, and that she had a tremendous amount of talent. I expect that, if she wishes to, she will forge an extremely successful career in this business…”
John Courtmache ’88 was in the audience of The Voice on the Monday before Thanksgiving, thanks to a friend who is producer of the show. “Many of us in the classes of ’88 and ’87 have known Denise and Rich for 25 years—they’re like family. Watching Jacquie is like seeing a niece on stage. It’s been such an adventure for them; we're all excited for them.”
The Voice finale will air live next Monday, December 16, at 8 EST, after which television audiences across the country will vote for their favorite singer. If you happen to be in New Jersey next week, you are welcome at MJ’s Buttonwood Manor off Rt. 34 in Mattawan to watch the show next week with other Fairfield alumni and friends of Rich and Denise. Visit www.943thepoint.com for more.
Photos of Jacquie Lee from NBC's The Voice