Baylor University sophomore long has performed in churches, nursing homes, talent competitions, Lady Bear basketball games and numerous other venues. Most recently she won the hearts and votes of many American TV viewers with her country twang, even though she was eliminated from competition June 4.The 20-year old
Johnny Tucker—interim music minister at First Baptist Church of McGregor—applauded his daughter for tackling the challenge of maintaining a Christian commitment in a secular setting. She even performed the hymn “How Great Thou Art” in the top 10 live performance for The Voice.
Although other song choices were not as explicitly religious, Holly carefully selected songs consistent with her Christian values, Tucker said.
“She is a country singer who is a Christian,” he said. “All the songs she’s done are positive and uplifting, even if they’re secular.”
Her secular song selections included “How Do I Live” by Leann Rimes and “Broken Wing” by Martina McBride.
Holly described herself as a hardheaded individual—a helpful attribute for times when she read Facebook comments like “You used God as your manipulation to get votes.”
“I don’t want to give in, and I don’t have to,” Holly said, convinced God has brought her to the secular setting and will sustain her.
In spite of the negative comments, an abundance of positive ones—such as “You’re our inspiration to have the courage to do that song” (‘How Great Thou Art’)—encouraged her.
“That says a lot about America,” she said. “We’re still a nation under God.”
Holly has a strong support system to hold her accountable in such a challenging environment, her father said. He particularly points to her church, family and Christian connections she has made throughout her journey.
“It’s a pretty tough road for musicians without a family, church, and other things,” Tucker said. Holly “grew up with good values and has carried that in her life.”
She received tremendous support from Baylor University, which distributed e-mails to alumni encouraging them to support Holly, her father added.
“Holly bleeds green and gold,” he said—evident when she taught Blake Shelton, her team coach, how to “Sic ‘Em Bears” on a recent broadcast of The Voice.
While she appreciates encouragement from her church and school, Holly credits her parents for her upbringing.
“It’s shaped every part of who I am. They forwarded beliefs and morals into me,” she explained. “I just want to a force of good and a light for God.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The second paragraph was edited June 5 to reflect the results of the June 3-4 competition on the TV program.