The Tri-State’s TRUSTED news source.

Click here to stay informed and subscribe to Herald-Dispatch.

Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists.

Learn more about HD Media


Holly Forbes, a Catlettsburg, Ky., native, competed on the current season of “The Voice” on NBC.

HUNTINGTON — Holly Forbes is continuing her streak on “The Voice” as one of the Top 11 contestants, but she’s already planning for when she’s back home.

With only five weeks left of this season, she has a chance to have a victorious homecoming. A Catlettsburg, Kentucky, native, Forbes wants to record an album when her stint on the singing reality competition concludes. She also wants to recruit other artists to begin touring locally and nationally, as she recently posted on her social media pages about working and touring with musicians in the area.

Forbes, 30, said the Tri-State has some of the most talented musicians she’s ever met.

“There’s just something in the water — we just have crazy incredible musicians,” she said. “I’ve had so many offers that I can’t even begin to go through them all right now where it’s so busy here. But I’m sure we’ll be able to find a great band out of all those people who have offered, so I’m excited.”

Without the support of her community, Forbes said she wouldn’t have made it as far as she has on season 21 of “The Voice.”

“Every step of the way, it’s just been one surprise after another,” Forbes said. “It seems like every week the community becomes more and more supportive, with more people reaching out. I always knew we had a very supportive community in Huntington and the Ashland area. It’s been so cool to see everyone come together and fully support me and be so kind. It really helps me here, to see people back home rooting for me.”

The support of the cast and crew at “The Voice” has meant a lot to Forbes, too. She said she and her fellow contestants are becoming increasingly close and have formed a close-knit family of sorts.

“Making it to the (Top 11) is huge because when the auditions started, there were about 100 of us that were invited out to actually audition for the big stage, so week after week, it’s getting smaller and smaller,” she said. “It’s really cool to be part of this group and constantly getting closer to the other contestants as we go, and we’re hanging on to each other. It’s been a really great experience. The cast and crew are all so kind and treat us like family.”

Forbes has been singing for as long as she can remember. Growing up, she sang with her family at church and she participated in choir while attending school. In more recent years, she’s performed at local festivals and has sung backup with other bands and artists.

Forbes previously tried out for “The Voice” but was not chosen to move forward, and she said it’s meant to be that this year she was accepted.

“When the pandemic hit, I really spent a lot of time just practicing, playing piano and singing in the house day after day, and I think that really inspired me to try out for ‘The Voice’ again,” she said. “I just felt like I was ready to try again, and here we are. I guess I was finally kind of ready for it, you know?”

Some of Forbes’ musical inspirations are soul greats, such as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston, but more recently it’s regional artists like Tyler Childers who are motivating her. She’s now in a position where she can inspire others, especially children, she said.

“Seeing someone like Tyler Childers come up from this area and really make a name for himself was a big deal for me to see that as possible, because we come from such a small area,” Forbes said. “Already people have reached out saying that I’m kind of inspiring them to try out for this show or to continue pursuing music. That’s what I really hope to do, is just inspire people and inspire kids.

“When I was a kid, seeing Kelly Clarkson on a show like this really changed my life,” Forbes said, referring to the “American Idol” winner who now serves as a coach on “The Voice.” “So visiting kids and inspiring them, giving them hope that it’s possible you can always chase your dreams, no matter how old you are, no matter what happens in life, is important to me.”

When she’s not singing or taking care of her family, Forbes works at the Autism Services Center in Huntington, which she said is a gratifying and important job.

“I love that job,” she said. “I can’t say enough how rewarding it is because it’s hard work, but it’s not something that could ever be automated or that a machine could take over. It’s real people. You have to be there for these people that need extra help. For me, it’s a job of service, and I think that it’s so much fun, too.”

Forbes said seeing support for her on social media has bolstered her confidence and helped her throughout the competition.

“I’d like to thank everyone for believing in me,” Forbes said. “I see all your messages; I might not be able to respond to everyone, but being so far away from home, seeing my community support me is just so important, and it makes me feel like I’m still at home.”

“The Voice” airs at 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC-TV.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Recommended for you