A pastor from Mississippi won the NBC singing competition "The Voice" on Tuesday night, and concluded his time on the show with a powerful finale performance of the Christian hit "I Can Only Imagine" by MercyMe, the Christian Post reported.
Todd Tilghman, pastor of Cornerstone Church in Meridian, Mississippi, was coached on the show by country music star Blake Shelton. One of the judges, Kelly Clarkson, had trouble getting through her evaluation of the performance because she was overcome with emotion.
"Literally, you are so moving," Clarkson said. "It's because you are a pastor, because you have such a bigger belief inside you than just yourself. I would love to come to your church just to hear you speak, not only sing. You're very special."
Todd Tilghman Performs MercyMe's "I Can Only Imagine" - The Voice Finale Performances 2020 youtu.be
Tilghman had to perform remotely due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
"I wish I knew how to say thank you," Tilghman tweeted after the win. "And I wish y'all knew how much I respect and admire my new friends and fellow artists/contestants on @NBCTheVoice. I don't know how long it'll take me to process, but I sure am grateful for every moment."
According to the Christian Post, Tilghman had recently preached a message that was very relevant to his success on the national stage.
"Take those talents that the Master gave you before we were separated and multiply those during this time, so that when we come back together, you'll come back with more than you left with," Tilghman preached in a virtual sermon.
Tilghman, 42, is the oldest contestant to ever win on the show. He's a husband, and the father of eight children. His win on "The Voice" now opens up the potential for him to pursue a musical career.
"'The Voice' could change everything for me," Tilghman said earlier in the season, according to the Washington Post. "Right now, I only sing at church. I don't perform or record. To be able to support my family strictly through music would be a dream."