MUSCATINE — A Grandview native and Louisa-Muscatine graduate, Adam Cunningham, made it through the first stage of the NBC show "The Voice" Monday night.
Cunningham, 38, sang "Midnight Rider" by the Allman Brothers, inspiring both Blake Shelton and Jennifer Hudson to slam buttons and turn their chairs around. In the end, he decided to join Team Blake, suiting his Southern rock style.
The contestant's mother, Mary Cunningham, remembers the excitement of hearing the news from her Grandview home. She chose not to watch the episode with her husband and brother because she wanted to avoid any distractions.
"I wanted to hear everything going on," she said. "I didn't realize (the news) until after (my husband) put it on Facebook. Then, I stood there with my hands over my mouth, like a little kid waiting for Christmas."
Her son has always had a passion for music, she said, since he was eight years old and the family began traveling together, performing Gospel music.
"I have four children and they are all very, very talented musicians," she said. "Adam can play guitar, piano, mandolin, accordion, you just name it."
A childhood friend of the Cunninghams, Cate Auberg, also came from a family of musicians. She remembers visiting the family for their Fourth of July celebrations in Grandview, and playing together at Worship bands in church.
"That was the best time growing up," Auberg said. "We would go to East Iowa Bible Camp every year and around the campfires we would just (get) out our guitars, mandolins, and my brother would bring his djembe (drum). We all jammed out together."
With a strong background in Gospel and folk, Adam Cunningham eventually moved to Nashville, where he now works as a studio musician. He has been a session singer and performed demos for writers and publishers, according to the show, and put out a few Christian albums as a young adult.
Mary Cunningham hopes her son's experience on the show will help him achieve those goals, and also provide security for his wife, Courtney, and 1-year-old daughter.
"When you see Adam and the way he is, that's who he is, and he's always been that way," she said. "He's a good, honest man with integrity and he will give it his all. He's a great guy, he really is."
While Mary Cunningham is enjoying the experience of watching her son on network television, she said she is proud of her family no matter what happens on the show.
"I've always been proud of my children and they don't have to do something big...to make me proud of them," she said. "I have raised, with everything I've done, four very good young adults and I think I'm more proud of that than anything else."
Despite the sentiment, the mother seems convinced Adam Cunningham will make it to the finale.
"He's going to win, this is what his mama says. You're going to win, son, because you are good," she said.
"The Voice" airs on NBC on Monday and Tuesday nights at 7 p.m.