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Barry's Journey

From Back of House to the Front of the House

In the film world, Barry Craig Minniefield is known as "Hollywood’s Singing Chef." He earned this title for his extraordinary talents in acting, singing, and as a gourmet chef during a 10-year stint at the world-famous Improvisation Comedy Clubs. Minniefield has performed and/or prepared gourmet cuisine for a long list of celebrities including: Roseanne Barr, Tom Arnold, Cher, Milton Berle, Jay Leno (on the "Tonight Show"), Arsenio Hall, Nancy Wilson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oprah Winfrey, and Robin Williams. In 1990, Minniefield decided to transition from cooking and comedy to a larger focus on his music. He never looked back.

Early influences: "My father was my biggest influence. He would have that stereo blaring with jazz and big band music, especially on Sundays. We still talk on the phone just about every day." "My grandmother also had me singing gospel in Church and my uncle worked for several different record companies, so I was always immersed in good music," reflects Minniefield. "I dug the Jackson Five; I’d practice their numbers in the basement with my cousins. I used to love watching “The Ed Sullivan Show” and checking out all the musical acts." Among role models, Minniefield cites Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Liza Minnelli, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughn. "Stevie Wonder has been a real influence too, both his music and singing. He’s challenged us all to be more creative, to be better.

When Barry moved to Los Angeles and began a career as an executive chef at the Improve Comedy Club, he started singing karaoke for fun during his passion for music returned. In 2015, Barry auditioned for NBC’s “The Voice” Season 8 amongst 100,000 of potential contestants vying for coveted position for the Blind Auditions. He won a spot and during NBC’s “The Voice” Blind Auditions, his soulful rendition of Billy Paul’s smash hit, “Me and Mrs. Jones’ caught a chair turn of ‘The Voice” coach Adam Levine. For the Battle Rounds, Barry went toe-to-toe with Jack Gegori singing Dave Mason’s, “Feelin’ Alright”. Coach Blake Shelton remarked that Barry’s voice was, “larger than life” while Christina Aguilera exclaimed, “Barry, man your soul was off the charts!” Coach Pharrell stated he felt Barry’s singing had a “soulful essence” reminiscent of great soul singers and took Pharell back to his childhood while listening to records and “cuttin’ the rug”. Adam Levine decisively chose Minniefield for the Knockout Rounds. Barry was paired against Tonya Boyd Cannon for The Voice Knockout Rounds. Barry’s song choice was to sing Bobby Caldwell’s, “I Would Do for Love’. The pairing was close with both Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera stating they didn’t know whom Adam Levine was going to pick. Pharell stated he looked forward to Minniefield’s performances because he gives it so much. “America needs to see a 53 year old Black man giving it that kind of soul.” Pharell also wished he had a steal. Coach Adam Levine thought both Minniefield and Boyd Cannon assets were being comfortable on stage and having fun while performing. Levine went on to say about Barry, ‘Who knew you could hit those powerful high notes with no falsetto? That’s crazy!” Levine asked Carson Daily how to define “winner”? Ultimately, Adam Levine did not choose Minniefield to go on to the next round.

Minniefield’s exposure on NBC’s “The Voice” has ignited his career.