Anytime someone from our fairly small town of Killeen does something great on a national stage, I think we should recognize and celebrate them.

That's certainly the case with two gifted singers from Central Texas who'll be competing on NBC's 'The Voice' this season.

Small Town, Big Talent

The old phrase "big fish in a little pond" is one way to describe the big talents of Jershika Maple and Manny Keith, who have both made it onto teams on the primetime singing competition show.

Words can't do justice to how impressed I am, and how happy I am for these two local talents.

Super Secret

Back when I was putting together my list of great singers from Central Texas, I spoke with Jershika. She was telling me that there were a couple of projects she couldn’t necessarily mention quite yet. Because she had to be discreet per the terms of the show, she couldn't tell me anything and I didn't push her for details. Instead, I held off on putting her on my list.

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Celebrating Local Artists

Now the cat is out of the bag, I could not be happier camper while writing an article about this young lady. She made it very clear to me that sisterhood in the city, especially among R&B singers, is super important. She also said she agreed with me about how a lot of R&B singers in the city do not get the same recognition as the rappers, and she was fully supportive of my decision to compile that list.

Killeen Pride

I love the fact that now we have not just one, but three hometown heroes featured on 'The Voice'. Of course, the lovely Rose Short was the first Killeenite to be a part of the show, and now Jershika and Manny will have their time in the spotlight to showcase their talents and represent Central Texas on a national stage.

Congratulations to you both! I know you will make the city of Killeen and all of Central Texas so very proud!

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