VA teen wows on The Voice - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

VA teen wows on The Voice

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A 17-year-old girl from Smithfield, Virginia brings the judges to their feet after her performance during the season premiere of "The Voice". Bria Kelly got a standing ovation, and all four judges to turn their chairs.

Smithfield is a small town. According to the last Census, only 8,000 people live there. That's why so many there are so thrilled to see one of their own in the national spotlight.

Within seconds, Bria Kelly brought magic to the music in front of millions.

"I didn't know she was going to be on. I was washing TV and playing games on the computer and I heard something about small town and I went okay," said Shelley Riley.

At the Main Street Restaurant- the 17-year-old's performance is the talk of the town.

"I looked up and they said ‘Smithfield' and I was like ‘I know who that is'," Riley said.

"Nothing happens like that around here," said waitress Ashley Collins.

Bria has been singing for years. On the show, she credited her mother for giving her the gift.

"Last year my mom came down with Sepsis, which shuts down all your bodies' organs. The doctors were basically telling us to prepare for the worst," Kelly said.

Her mom is doing better now - perhaps giving Bria the edge to wow every judge during her audition.

"I was her babysitter from when she was three weeks old until about five…She went through a bunch of hardships but the community, everybody stuck by and they got through it really well," said Kimberly Evans.

Now that same community is here again, cheering on a star in the making who started from humble beginnings performing around town.

"She had her little guitar case, sitting down there collecting money. She was just taking requests and playing her guitar," Collins remembered.

Who would know a little perseverance would land this talented teen on national television.

"Hi Bria, we're pulling for ya!" said Betty Sharpley.

"She's going to go all the way and I think she may win. I really think she's that good," Riley said.

Bria chose R&B star Usher to help guide her through the competition. He's faced with sharing his expertise as a musician in hopes of coaching her to that top spot of becoming The Voice.

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