IT WAS clear fame and millions of fans have not gone to the head of
Coolum singing sensation Darren Percival.
Arriving at the Sunshine Coast Airport yesterday morning, The Voice runner-up was overwhelmed with his welcome from fans.
He yelled a sincere "thankyou" to the crowd while holding his son's hand and standing proudly beside his wife Amanda.
Darren returned home after a gruelling seven-week recording schedule with Universal Music, happy to announce the release of his first single In the Blowing Wind and his debut album Happy Home, which he said was a tribute to his family and the Sunshine Coast.
"It feels fantastic to be home. This album is tribute to that. I have a beautiful family and live in a beautiful place. It was also my way of saying thankyou to Australia for voting for me," he said.
"It was amazing to get through on votes alone from the Australian public. I was just so grateful for that."
The 40-year-old member of Team Keith will spend four days with his family, visiting friends and his local surf club at Coolum.
"I am looking forward to firing up the barbie and having a steak with some friends, then I might go down to the surf club for a beer," he said.
"I just can't wait to get home. I am so happy to be back with Amanda and the kids."
The cover of his album, to be released on July 13, features him looking dapper in a black suit, resting casually on a brown leather couch.
The 10 covered songs he performed during the show are featured, including his emotional rendition of Stevie Wonder's I Believe, which lifted the roof and received a standing ovation.
A duet with Mahalia Barnes, daughter of rocker Jimmy Barnes, and a soon-to-be released single, Happy Home, will also be included.
"The album is the songs from the show in order - it's the journey," he said.
"Happy Home is a song on the new CD which is a little surprise for Australia and a thankyou to my fans."
Darren will begin preparations for a small-scale Australian tour from September to October, as well as performing at music festivals, before embarking on national tour in February next year.