The Voice Australia 2022: Contestant, 16, shares devastating story of mother’s mental illness

A 16-year-old contestant on The Voice has made an emotional impression on the judges after revealing the inspiration behind her song choice.

A teen singer on The Voice has garnered an emotional response from coaches after sharing a heartbreaking story from her childhood.

Sunrise Michelle, 16, from the Central Coast, sings Birdie’s mellow yet heart-wrenching song. People Help Peoplepush the instant button push from Jess Mauboy and Rita Ora.

Explaining his song choice to Mauboy, who seemed moved by the show, the soft-spoken teenager held back tears as he described being “raised” from an insecure home life by his grandparents.

“You really suffocate me, just watching you sing that,” Mauboy began.

“I can hear you and I’m very interested and curious … What are you singing?,” he asked.

“I live with my beautiful grandparents,” replied Sunshine.

“And the song is about how they helped my little sister and I get out of the not-so-good life living with my mother, who was struggling with mental health.

People Help Peopleit’s about how they, and everyone else who realized we weren’t safe, lifted us out of there and gave us to our grandparents.”

Mauboy, almost in tears himself, credits the teenager for being open about his difficult journey.

“You coming here, and sharing your story, will touch so many people out there,” he said, his voice shaking.

“There are so many people out there like you too. And I just want you to know that you’re so brave and you’re so special, and I’m so glad you found this space in music to be able to reach those corners that feel dark, and those feelings may be out of balance. I’m so proud of you, and I’m so happy for you,” he said.

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Agreeing with the sentiment, Rita added about Sunrise’s singing talent: “What you did just now is an example of not having to scream from rooftops and still getting all our attention and doing it calmly and gracefully.”

Sunshine ended up picking Jess’s team after the pop star’s sincere tone.

Prior to the blind audition, Sunshine described taking care of her younger sister when their mother was unwell, which sometimes involved stealing food – part of her “hated” past.

“My mother… She is a lovely person, I love her very much. I haven’t seen him in a long time.

“He has some mental health issues. Her personality disorder and depression got a lot worse under the drugs and I had to try and be the mother of the family.

“I always try to get up, take my sister to school. We have to steal to get food, that’s what pisses me off the most… I hate that

Eventually, Sunshine and her sister were placed in the care of their grandparents, who had been living with them for the past few years.

“The start of year 6 was when I moved in with my grandparents. Now I have so many opportunities, and I go to school every day, and I don’t have to worry about what for breakfast or what for dinner.”

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