18th MP Soldier makes ‘X Factor’ finals

by Staff Sgt. Tramel Garrett
18th MP Public Affairs, 21st TSC

A 21st Theater Sustainment Command military police Soldier’s dream of becoming a recording artist is one step closer after making the finals of the German “X Factor” show, scheduled to air on the German television channel VOX Sunday.

Spc. Willy Hubbard, a wheeled-vehicle mechanic for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 18th Military Police Brigade, will now rely on audience votes to determine his fate after enduring auditions, boot camp and the judge’s house.

“X Factor” Germany is a television music talent show competition for aspiring singers drawn from public auditions.

He walked onto the “X Factor” stage with butterflies in his stomach and wondered if he had the talent to become a star in the music industry. He was a U.S. Soldier on a German television show and everyone in the building was focused on him.
“I was nervous, so I imagined that everyone was my friend, and they all came to see me,” said Hubbard, a native of Richmond, Va.

Hubbard’s NCOs and command has ensured that he had ample time to follow his dream. When Hubbard is not on stage, he spends his days on Sembach Kaserne making sure a high tempo military police brigade is ready to deploy.

“I’ve got so much support from my command. Maj. Gen. Aundre F. Piggee, the commanding general of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, called down to my unit and asked how I was doing on the show,” Hubbard said.

“In the first show I got four Xs, and the crowd gave me a standing ovation and started chanting finals. My performance really propelled me and increased my popularity,” Hubbard said.

The audience’s prediction became a reality when he was named a
finalist. Now, on Sunday, viewers can tune in to the live “X Factor” show and vote for their favorite artist.

“It’s amazing to make the finals. There is a lot of talent on this show. I expected to make it to the second round, and now I’m in the top 12. It’s surreal,” Hubbard said. “I worked really hard, and I’m really excited because this is an amazing opportunity for me.”

Hubbard’s passion to sing began at an early age. Growing up, he found many ways to hone his craft with church choirs and even a five-man rhythm and blues group, which sang at local bars and small shows.

Whenever he needs to vent or relieve stress, he finds a way to do it through his music.

“I started singing when I was 5 years old. It was always something I liked doing. Music has always been there for me. I try to put a unique twist to it. I get all of my stress out with my music,” Hubbard said.

Now all this hard work has paid off. He is now building a fan base, which is a whole new experience for him.

“I have a lot of new fans, and that’s even odd to me because I’m not used to having fans. I’ve taken pictures with baggers at the commissary and people at the airport. This has been a different experience and it’s really exciting,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard must now give his best performance on the live show Sunday, in which viewers vote for their favorite contestant to continue to the next round.