Knoxville's Chris Blue, a contestant on NBC's "The Voice," performed the "Star Spangled Banner" before state lawmakers in Nashville on Thursday. His rousing rendition of the national anthem ended with a huge round of applause by House members.
Blue, who is a worship leader at Cokesbury United Methodist Church and grew up singing with his talented family, will next compete in the Knockout Rounds of the reality singing show competition. He was selected by coach Alicia Keys, and rival coach Blake Shelton has already predicted Blue will sing in the finale.
If he makes it through this next round, which likely be broadcast Monday or Tuesday of next week, he will make it to the live rounds of competition where viewers can vote for their favorites.
Knoxville Rep. Rick Staples introduced Blue on the House floor Thursday. Staples said Blue is an inspiration for his district.
"He has become the wind that our community has needed," Staples said. "He has become the inspiration our young people can look to to know that they can go beyond their present circumstances."
Staples has known Blue and his family since the siblings sang together in a group. He said Blue won over bipartisan support from lawmakers with his performance.
"There wasn't a dry eye in the place," Staples told WBIR 10News. "Immediately that boy probably set a record for most selfies at the state capitol."
Staples said he hopes the next big thing to come out of East Knox County will be Chris Blue, and he is cheering him on during his time on the show.
"I think it's just a great time for his star to shine to kind of lead us out of that darkness," Staples said, "and let the young people know that their lives are ahead of them."