In the final round of blind auditions on The Voice this week, Chevonne, aka Lauren Ianuzzi '07, performed the Pretenders classic "Brass in Pocket." Her rendition connected most directly with Blake Shelton and CeeLo Green, whose Team CeeLo she chose to join.
Chevonne, who toured with Lady Gaga as a backup singer and dancer during the Monster Ball Tour, has also toured with British R&B singer-songwriter Estelle. When she spoke with the College last year, she encouraged anyone who thinks there isn't a connection between being a pop star and being socially and intellectually engaged to think again.
"It doesn't have to be so cut and dried," she said. "I don't have to be vapid to be a pop singer. At Swarthmore, I solidified my belief that the most important part of expanding your knowledge is using it for good. Is it a coincidence that the two pop artists I've worked for are socially justice oriented?"
Chevonne, who majored in music, at first wasn't sure her pop sensibilities would be appreciated in the department.
"I thought, 'there's nothing digital, nothing pop,'" she admitted, "but that was great for me. Some of the faculty were so nurturing. They always wanted to hear my music outside of class. I will never forget how they encouraged me.
"If you want it," she added, "there's nothing you can't study at Swarthmore, which is so wonderful."