Updated: Oct 1, 2020
Felicia Temple, beloved The Voice contestant and singer extraordinaire, has decided to pause her singing career in the midst of COVID-19. On a worldwide tour, Temple had just performed in Belgium when she received the news that President Trump was going to close the borders to the United States.
Before she joined The Voice on Season 12 in 2017, Temple had a full-time job as a nurse at Holy Name Medical Center. When she got back to Teaneck, New Jersey, and saw the situation that the people and hospitals were in, she chose to resume her nursing job, as she saw that was the best way to help those in need.
When she found out that Holy Name Medical Center needed more nurses, she went in without a second thought, because, she says, “I’m a nurse. I was going to go.” In an interview with Lester Holt on ABC News, Temple displays bravery and perseverance as she explains that she holds the hands of dying patients because “...if it was my family member in the hospital, I would want someone to do that for me.”
Not only is she working 13-hour shifts in the ICU, but she is also working these shifts while being monitored for metastatic neuroendocrine cancer. She was diagnosed with the cancer in 2015, and cleared six rounds of chemo. Temple’s bravery and perseverance in the face of the unknown is inspiring, as it reminds us to always put others before ourselves.
When speaking with Gene Myers of NorthJersey.com, Temple addresses her fellow musicians: “If you are seeing me at a hospital you should know there is a crisis going on outside. You need to stop going to the studio and stop meeting up with friends for jam sessions. It’s not worth your life. It’s dangerous out here.”
Temple and many nurses around the nation have spoken on how heartbreaking it can be to go into work every day. With makeshift hospital beds, crammed ICUs, and body bags left and right, it can feel like a battlefield to some. Talking to Myers of NorthJersey.com, Temple says “I had a couple of young patients pass away, and you feel so helpless. Then you go home and everything looks like it’s normal. But you feel like you've just come out of a war zone.”
To encourage her fellow nurses throughout this trying time, Felicia Temple recorded a stunning and powerful rendition of “Rise Up,” originally sung by Andra Day. Holy Name Medical Center regularly broadcasts the cover throughout the speakers in the hospital, as a way to uplift its hardworking and devoted nurses.
Because of COVID-19, Temple was forced to put her singing and performing dreams on hold. However, she did so with a willing heart, and has helped so many people in the process. She looked beyond herself, at a world that needed help, and decided she could do whatever she could to heal people, even when it came to holding their hands during their final moments.
We had the chance to speak with Felicia Temple to not only get a deeper insight into not only her perspective as an artist, as well as her role as a nurse during COVID.
Check out the full story in our September 2020 Issue of We Are Jersey Magazine!