KNOXVILLE - She went from The Voice stage in Los Angeles, to back home in East Tennessee.
The last year has been a wild ride for Knoxville native, Emily Ann Roberts. A quick rise to stardom meant some difficult decisions for the young 17-year-old.
“I remember sitting down with my principal and she said 'You're going to want to graduate a year early' and I said 'No, I want my senior year, I want to go to prom, want to go to football games,'” said Roberts.
Her success on the NBC show The Voice changed those priorities.
"I just realized that music was important and move forward in that as soon as I could,” said Roberts.
For the junior in high school, this meant doubling up on classes so she could graduate a year early. However, she didn’t miss out on making some special memories.
"I still got to go to prom, and had that last semester, I’m glad I went back, it was hard, but exactly what I wanted to do,” she said.
As for her next step in education, that will have to wait.
"I’ll think about college. It is something I definitely don't want to stop learning and I think there is stuff we can learn every single day, so I would love to do that, but right now I’m focused on music,” she said.
Her musical career is proving tougher than it looks.
"I’m learning now, it’s more than just getting on stage and singing, there's a lot more stuff that goes into it that you don't think about," Roberts said.
Her days have been filled with writing songs for her future record and performing.
"I’ve written a bunch of songs about home, and my heart. I have this one song called 'Simple' and it is basically just my heart in a song, and so I love that one and I’ve written some fun songs and songs about boys, of course," she said.
Roberts has traveled back and forth to Nashville, and is considering making it a permanent move.
"I can see myself there pretty soon. I’m going to be busy making my first record and needing to be there instead of here. We will see what happens,” she said.
Somehow, the sweet, bubbly singer finds time in her busy schedule for her hometown fans. She and "Bringing up Bates" star Lawson Bates visited East Tennessee Children’s Hospital together last week to sing to patients.
Roberts also performed at the Tennessee Valley Fair and at the UT vs. Ohio football game over the weekend.
While she enjoys being home, Roberts confesses she misses her “Voice” family.
"It’s kind of funny because you have withdrawals from these people because you are with them, day in and day out. You wake up every morning and you see them and you go to bed. It was crazy when I first came home not being around them every day,” she said.
Thanks to technology, it’s been easy to keep in touch.
"Me, Barrett and Zach are so close, we have a little group message that we will all text in sometimes,” she said.
Roberts and fellow Blake Shelton team member Zach Seabaugh played several concerts together in Zach’s hometown this past spring and summer.
While not in LA, her celebrity status still puts her in large spotlight.
"I understand how people lose their way, the business gets the best of them, but it makes me even more determined to be a positive influence,” said Roberts.
She’s living in a much different world than a year ago, but Emily Ann is confident this is exactly where God wants her to be.
"I believe that my talent is a gift from my heavenly Father, so without Him, I wouldn’t be able to do the things that I’ve done, and I know He’s opened up these doors for me,” she said.
“Singing is something I will always love to do. I will sing for the rest of my life.”
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