Ed Sheeran Criticizes Lack of Original Songs on ‘The Voice’

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran was this season’s Mega Mentor on NBC’s singing competition show, “The Voice.”

Not only does Sheeran write his own wildly popular music, but he’s also written and co-written music for several other artists including Justin Bieber and One Direction. It’s perhaps unsurprising then that he wishes contestants on “The Voice” had more opportunities to sing their own original songs.

While a guest on “Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard,” Sheeran talked about his experience mentoring on the show. “There was this amazing country singer and she was singing, obviously signing covers,” Sheeran said. He went on to say that he asked the singer why she wouldn’t sing one of her originals and the singer replied that she wasn’t allowed to.

“It’s called ‘The Voice,’ it’s not called ‘The We Sing Covers,'” Sheeran said. “If you have a voice, have it be your tunes.” The “Shape of You” singer then said that he believed singers not being allowed to perform their own music on the show was “a licensing thing.”

It’s possible that the country singer who Sheeran was referring to is Kinsey Rose who has two albums out on Spotify. Kinsey Rose was eliminated during the Knockout Rounds after every coach used either a save or steal on her during the Battles.

Are Original Songs Not Allowed on ‘The Voice?’

According to Talent Recap, contestants auditioning for “The Voice” are given a list of approved songs to choose from. Contestants rank songs they’d like to sing and producers assign them a song from their ranked list. This is done to avoid repeated songs and legal issues, but it obviously keeps original songs out of the blind audition process.

By contrast, contestants auditioning for “American Idol” are allowed to sing original songs and often do. Historically, contestants on “The Voice” don’t get a chance to sing an original song until the finale. For contestants who aren’t used to songwriting, they will either co-write or have a song written for them. The point is not so much can the contestants write a song, but can they make a song no one has heard before memorable?

In 2013, OneRepublic frontman and songwriter Ryan Tedder wrote songs for the final three artists on the show. However, in the season 20 finale earlier this year, there were no original songs. It’s unclear if original songs will be making a comeback in the season 21 finale.

Which Contestants Made it to the Live Shows?

Live shows for “The Voice” season 21 begin on Monday, November 8 at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Which contestants have made it far enough to compete for America’s vote?

Team Kelly

  • Jeremy Rosado
  • Katie Rae (stolen from team Ariana)
  • Gymani
  • Girl Named Tom
  • Hailey Mia (stolen from team Ariana)

Team Legend

  • Shadale
  • Jershika Maple (stolen from team Kelly)
  • Joshua Vacanti
  • Samuel Harness
  • David Vogel (stolen from team Ariana)

Team Ariana

  • Bella DeNapoli
  • Jim and Sasha Allen
  • Raquel Trinidad
  • Holly Forbes (stolen from team Kelly)
  • Ryleigh Plank

Team Blake

  • Peedy Chavis
  • Lana Scott
  • Paris Winningham (stolen from Team Legend)
  • Wendy Moten
  • Libianca

Voting will open after the show. There are multiple ways to vote: via the show’s official app or the NBC website.

View the full voting rules for “The Voice” on the NBC website.

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