Chris Mann certainly shined as a finalist on The Voice, but his star has risen even higher since the hit show's second season. In 2012, Mann signed with Faircraft/Republic, a new label formed by renowned producer/music executive Ron Fair (Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige). His debut full-length, Roads, introduced a whole new generation to the classical-pop genre and shot straight to No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers Chart and Top 5 on Billboard's Classical Chart. Upon its release, he gave numerous high- profile television performances, including playing for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as part of TNT’s “Christmas In Washington” special, appeared on “The Today Show,” the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and “NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center Special.” Mann also released a holiday EP, Home For Christmas, which was sold exclusively at Walmart and hit No. 1 on the chain's Best-Selling Albums List.
He kicked off 2013 with a performance on “Conan” and his very own PBS Special helmed by award- winning producer Ken Ehrlich. Titled “A Mann For All Seasons,” the show features special guest appearances by multi-platinum artist Martina McBride and Mindi Abair and is a re-creation of the Elvis Presley ’69 Comeback Special with Chris performing in a boxing ring on a Sony soundstage.
The aptly-titled Roads represents the culmination of a long and challenging journey for this gifted and dedicated young artist, who’d been pushing forward against what had appeared to be overwhelming odds. After studying opera at Vanderbilt in Nashville, the Wichita, Kansas, native had spent years singing in clubs and auditioning for record labels without a nibble, until three years ago, when one classical label took a chance on him. Mann was working on what would have been his debut album when he was abruptly dropped, the victim of a wholesale regime change at the company. Devastated, he started working behind the scenes as a session singer on Glee, and occasionally getting on camera as a member of the fictional vocal group the Warblers. He was making a decent living, and for a while he managed to convince himself that it was what he should be doing with his career.
“I never doubted my talent, but I had so many people not know what to do with me that I started to think I was weird,” Mann explains. “So I spent the next couple of years doing pop, until I realized I was wasting my time, and my voice, trying to dumb it down. I decided to go back to the genre I love—what I’d dedicated my whole life to learning how to do—classically based pop music.”