Welcome home, Bria

Published 10:18 pm Monday, May 12, 2014

She might not be from Suffolk, but Bria Kelly felt like the hometown girl to folks here who have seen her perform at various local events and venues. So when she headed to Hollywood for her recent run on the popular television show “The Voice,” folks around Suffolk joined their neighbors in Bria’s true hometown of Smithfield in watching her, cheering for her and voting for her.

It was as disappointing to Bria’s friends and fans here in Suffolk when she failed to advance to the next round of the show as it was to her friends and fans in Smithfield. Folks from both communities — and much farther away, too — got to hear a few words (and a few songs) from Bria on Saturday during a welcome-home party thrown on the grounds of Smithfield Foods, which sells the town’s other popular product when it’s not promoting Bria Kelly.

An appreciative crowd listened to the 18-year-old high school senior as she proved why she’s been such a hot commodity on both “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent.” And then she signed autographs and, later, went home to start catching up on her missed homework from Smithfield High School.

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We wish Bria the very best as she settles back down into the life of a high school student in Western Tidewater. And though we know folks here are likely to see her around town for a while, we have a feeling we’ll be seeing (and hearing) her conquer bigger venues than ever in the future. For now, though, welcome home.