Holly Elizabeth Forbes was born in Lexington, KY in 1990. She grew up in the rural town of Argilite, KY on a farm with her family. Holly first started singing at the age of 7 years old and later taught herself to play piano in 2017. Music was a big part of growing up in the Forbes family, as she would often sing in a gospel trio with her father, Barry Forbes, and sister, Erika Forbes. During the formative middle school and high school years, Holly participated in choir and sang in many talent shows as well. Holly maintains that singing and music helped give her confidence and got her through tough times while growing into her own. Holly attended college at Morehead State University and studied vocal performance. While at Morehead, she participated in Black Gospel Ensemble and Jazz Vocal Ensemble under the instruction of Dr. Roosevelt Escalante.
After college, Holly worked as a server, but kept active in singing by playing with other local musicians and singing karaoke. In 2014, Holly met her fiance, Seth Carey and the two formed the band, Holly and The Guy. The two would play mostly original music around the Tri-state for 6 years meeting lots of incredible musicians and friends. Some notable performances for Holly during this time are Mountain Stage with the band Hello June, Live on the Levee with Qiet, and singing the national anthem on the Appy Awards. During the 2020 lockdown, Holly became pregnant with the couple's second child, Oliver. Due to being off for the pregnancy, Holly spent most of the year honing her repertoire via online streaming services like Starmaker and the Quarantine Karaoke group on Facebook.
Over the years, Holly had auditioned for American Idol, America's Got Talent, and The Voice. She had received some callbacks, but it wasn't until a virtual open-call audition for The Voice in 2021 that she made it to the filming process... Holly performed "Rocketman" by Elton John for her blind audition for coaches Kelly Clarkson, Ariana Grande, John Legend, and Blake Shelton. She received the coveted "4 Chair Turn" with Grande using her only "block" during the blind auditions to bar Holly from choosing Team Legend. After unanimous praise from the coaches, Holly chose Team Kelly. During the Battle Round, Holly was paired up with fellow Team Kelly member, Wyatt Michael. The two performed "Sunny" by Bobby Hebb. Holly won the battle and moved to the Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, Holly was against the trio from Ohio, Girl Named Tom. Holly delivered a soulful rendition of Superstar by The Carpenters, but in the style of Luther Vandross. Ultimately, Kelly Clarkson chose Girl Named Tom and Holly was "stolen" by Ariana Grande. Once making it to the live shows, where America votes contestants through each week, Holly performed several songs including: "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia, "The Dance" by Garth Brooks, "Alone" by Heart, and "Last Dance" by Donna Summers. In her last results show to make it into the top 8, Holly found herself in the bottom with fellow contestants Jeremy Rosado and Jershika Maple. Holly performed "Because of You" by Kelly Clarkson for her instant save song, but America chose to save Jershika Maple.
Holly returned home to much pomp and circumstance. She attended a welcome home gathering at her Alma mater where she arrived via limousine with a police escort. The mayor of Greenup spoke at the event and named December 6th, "Holly Forbes Day". Similarly, the mayor of Catlettsburg presented Holly with a key to the city and named October 14th, "Holly Forbes Day" as well. Holly is looking forward to the future. She has booked the "Home for the Holidays" tour with Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., winner of America's Got Talent season 6, and New Year's Eve at The Paramount theater in Ashland, KY. Holly's goals for the future are to record an album, travel the world touring with her family, and to make the most beautiful music she can make.
The Daily Independent: