Chris Blue, the Knoxville native who has made it the top 10 on popular NBC television show The Voice, has a UT connection.
He and his mother, Janice Blue-Williams, used to provide security services at events as campus protection specialists with the UT Police Department. Blue’s older sister, Ashley Blue, is a police officer and has worked at UTPD for about five years.
Ashley said her colleagues at UTPD have been really supportive during this exciting time for her family.
“They’re all watching and cheering Chris on,” she said. “Since they know me, it makes them feel connected to him as well.”
Ashley said she hasn’t gone to Los Angeles to see Blue perform live yet, but “if he makes it to the finals, I’ll do my best to get out there and support him.”
She has been helping with local watch parties, including some at Cokesbury United Methodist Church where her brother has been a worship leader for the past six years. As many as 300 to 400 people have attended those watch parties to view Chris’s appearances on The Voice.
“He’s been singing since he was three,” said Ashley. Laughing, she adds, “No, I don’t sing. That’s the number one question.”
Ashley said her brother went to Atlanta to audition for The Voice.
“On his way there, he wanted to turn around,” she said. “He didn’t feel very confident in himself. His fiancee told him, go ahead and do it.”
Blue, who is on celebrity judge Alicia Keyes’ team, is engaged to a woman from England who has battled bone marrow cancer for most of her life. The story of their long-distance romance and how she nearly died during a recent surgery have been featured on the show and in local media reports.
Seeing her brother’s success on the show, Ashley said she’s “proud, excited, elated that he’s made it this far and has so many people supporting him.”