The Voice contestant Robbie Hunt was devastated when he unexpectedly lost his father Jason last year while in the middle of studying for his HSC exams.
"He passed away on Maroubra Beach (in Sydney's east)," Robbie, 18, tells TV WEEK. "A runner found him."
"I recall my mum coming into the room crying, and me being so confused, because that's not the first thing your mind goes to."
While the shocking loss could easily have seen Robbie give up on school, his father instilled in him from a young age to always keep going.
"I was heartbroken, but the sun will still come up every day," he says.
"I want to make him and my family proud, and I hope he is. He would have wanted me to be on The Voice and pursue my dreams."
The teenager grew up in government housing, sometimes not knowing when food would be on the table next, but never felt he went without.
"It was home," Robbie says. "I never saw it as a disadvantage, because I had my family around me and that was enough for me."
Robbie became a TikTok star in 2022 when a clip of him singing the first verse of Jerry Lee Lewis's Great Balls Of Fire in his school uniform racked up 23 million views.
Now, he's keen to see where The Voice will take him.
"My next step is to start stamping my own artistry in the world," Robbie says. "I'd love to get picked up by Universal (the record company,) I'm a clean slate; I'm just a boy with a following."
Will Robbie make it through his round of The Battles?
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