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According to her parents, Springfield resident and aspiring pop star Chelsea M got up on stage to sing her first song when she was just 3 years old.

“We were at a spiritual retreat and she got up there, grabbed a microphone and sang ‘This Little Light of Mine’,” said her mother Karen Mohindroo. “After that, she sang all the time, night and day. We are really proud of her, her perseverance has paid off.”

Today, Chelsea, 21, is a contestant on the NBC television show The Voice, where on April 1 she passed a blind audition and will now compete as part of Team Usher.

“I have always been such a big fan of Usher,” she said. “I think he represents my genre the best because I am a pop singer with a little R&B twist in my voice and Usher is also an amazing performer, which is something that I need the most help with. I think I can learn a lot from him.”

Chelsea said she also grew up in Springfield listening to Whitney Houston, Beyonce and one of The Voice’s original pop star hosts, Christina Aguilera.

“I used to listen to her song ‘Reflection’ when I was in fifth grade on repeat, and I tried to master it and perfect the entire song,” Chelsea said. “I taught myself how to sing listening to artists like her and Whitney and Beyonce and singing along with their incredible talents.”

A 2010 graduate of South County Secondary School, Chelsea credits being in the school’s choral program with helping to hone her singing skills. After graduating, she enrolled at James Madison University, where she joined an A Capella musical group, the JMU Overtones.

“Despite her early start, Chelsea was a little stage shy in high school about performing in public, but when she went to JMU and joined the Overtones, she really threw herself into the water and decided to overcome that, and she got very good at it,” said her mother.

“I really do credit the Overtones with helping me to grow as an artist and overcome my stage fright,” Chelsea said. “Still, just before I walked out on that stage to perform on The Voice, I was so nervous that I almost cried my eyes out, and I don’t remember actually being onstage at all. I can’t remember my performance whatsoever, but that is one of the great things about the blind audition; the fact that you are chosen for your voice and how well you can sing, and not for your performance or your stage presence.”

Chelsea will now compete this season on the show, which puts singers into teams led by the show’s four celebrity hosts.

“My experience on The Voice has been amazing,” said Chelsea. “Now we’re narrowed down to 48 of us, but before, we were competing against thousands and thousands of people who auditioned for this season. My friends in the Overtones helped me record my video audition and then I sent it in, and it took me this far.”

In Springfield, Chelsea’s family and friends say they are very proud of her. “Chelsea is one of 21 grandchildren, so she has a very large family cheering section,” said her mother.

“Everyone at my office is also rooting for her,” added her father, Devinder Mohindroo.

The Voice airs every Monday and Tuesday on NBC. Check your local listings for showtimes.

gmacdonald@fairfaxtimes.com