Billy Gilman stunned The Voice judges with his power and range during a cover of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” on Monday night (Nov. 14). It was a personal performance of a song the one-time country hitmaker says got him through some very difficult times in life.

“This song really captures the history that I’ve had, the struggles,” Gilman said before singing. He admitted the song was his “defense mechanism.” Indeed, the 28-year-old has had some unique challenges — he scored a hit song at age 11, but failed to sustain his success. In 2014 he revealed that he is gay, at the time challenging the country music industry to be more supportive of LGBTQ artists.

Gilman’s Queen cover has all the makings of a signature performance that could propel him to the final weeks of NBC’s reality show. All four judges stood to applaud, with Blake Shelton talking about how far he’s come since the early '00s.

“As great of a singer as you were then when you were 10 years old, you were a million times better as an adult. It’s unbelievable,” he said.

Guest mentor Garth Brooks joked that Gilman was “bananas” to pick the song before gushing on him some. His coach Adam Levine said Gilman could win the competition. After the singer thanked his loyal fans and new ones who’ve just discovered him. Even with the high praise he's still relying on viewers to send him to the Top 11. The results show airs tonight on NBC.

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