‘Voice’ contestant with ties to Columbus makes the finals

The next winner of NBC’s “The Voice” could be a singing sensation who’s very familiar to family and friends in Columbus.

Morgan Myles on Tuesday was selected as one of five finalists who will compete live on national television next week to win the title this year in the long-running hit talent competition series. Her parents graduated from Columbus North High School in 1975, and her two grandmothers, three aunts, five cousins and multiple second cousins still call this area home.

“I’ll be there for Christmas, most likely,” Myles said in a phone interview last week, noting that her parents, Karen (Thompson) Pinsonneault and Dan Pinsonneault, who like her now live in Nashville, Tennessee, usually come “home” for the holidays to visit Columbus area family.

Those family members were on Myles’ mind on Monday night when she dedicated her performance to her late grandfather, Luke Pinsonneault, and to her cousin Mackenzie “Mac” DeClue, formerly of Columbus, who died on Dec. 9, 2018, at age 33. Both died after battling brain cancer.

Myles took to the NBC studio stage in Hollywood sitting before a piano and performed an emotional and powerful tribute, the Lady Gaga ballad “Always Remember Us This Way” from the 2018 film “A Star Is Born”.

She told People Magazine after her performance, “We were thick as thieves, me and Mac. So it just was a lot, you know? When you lose people like that, it changes the dynamic of your family forever, and it’s a struggle. It still burns that hole in our hearts.”

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.