Craig Wayne Boyd, a 35-year-old Nashville resident, was crowned the winner of The Voice's seventh season last night.
The country singer, who was a member of judge Blake Shelton's team, bested team Adam Levine's Matt McAndrew during Tuesday night's finale. For his victory performance, Boyd showed off his Southern-rock chops with "My Baby's Got a Smile on Her Face," which was written by Mark Marchetti and Stephanie Jones.
"It feels wonderful," the singer said of his victory during a visit to TODAY Wednesday morning, adding that it "truly feels like validation that all the hard work I put in up to this point has been worth it."
Boyd, a divorcee and single father, says his victory even sweeter due to the many ups and down he has faced in his musical career. One year ago, he was close to giving up his dream due to financial issues
"I remember a little more than a year ago sitting in a pickup outside of a club after I had played to basically no one and talking to my drummer and saying, 'Listen, I may have to quit because it's not paying my bills and I'm losing my house.' I lost my pickup. I didn't know what I was going to do. And him telling me, 'Dude, you can't do that,'" the singer said Tuesday during a post-finale press conference with his coach, Blake Shelton, and host Carson Daly.
"And then randomly the opportunity (came) up to go audition a few months out for The Voice and I was like, 'You know what? You ought to go do that."
Last week, Boyd gave a stirring rendition of the beloved song "The Old Rugged Cross," a gripping melody based off the biblical passage of Galatians 6:14 that testified of suffering and pain turned to glory.
At the time, producer and judge Pharrell Williams poignantly asked,"Going through everything that you've gone through to get yourself here, what does it feel like to be at the top of your game and to surrender it to God in front of the whole entire world?"
"I feel so blessed right now, it's mind blowing," Boyd answered.
"I get it, man. To God be the glory," said Pharrell.
Now that he has won The Voice, Boyd is anticipating his next move. When asked how he wanted to celebrate his big win - which includes a record deal - he said, "I don't think I have time to...I am a hard worker. Even on the show, in between shooting things, I was listening to music for the next album...I thrive off of hard work, and I think I get that from my dad. So it's just more of the same, nose to the grindstone."