The 12th season premiere of NBC's "The Voice" kicked off Monday night and I was pleasantly surprised to see that a Texarkana native was on the show. Stephanie Rice a 27-year old from Texarkana, Texas performed the Kelly Clarkson song "Piece By Piece" and said the song in a lot of ways is her own story.

Coming from a religious background and being gay was not acceptable for her upbringing, and she was pretty much disowned from her father when she was 18-years old is what I learned after watching her back story.

"I'm so thrilled that I can stand up on this stage and be who I was just born to be," Rice said when she hit the stage.

Rice went on to earn a biology degree at Baylor University but decided that a career in music was more appealing and now her focus is totally on the music.

Coaches Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Alicia Keys, and Adam Levine listened intently as Rice began to perform during the blind auditions. Only two coaches turned their chair, Blake was the first to turn his chair and his girlfriend Gwen was the second. After a rousing ovation from the audience Rice decided on Gwen Stefani to be her coach.

Even Kelly Clarkson responded to her performance via Twitter "Can't. Stop. Crying."

More Blind Auditions coming this Thursday. Meanwhile visit Stephanie Rice's Facebook Page.

Wouldn't it be nice to see a hometown girl go all the way to the finish line? She certainly has the potential to do it. Good luck, Stephanie!

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