Even though Vino Alan has hit it big on the national stage, igniting the "X Factor" competition with his soulful voice and acquiring an impressive 24,532 'likes' on his Facebook fan page, he has kept close to his Waynesville roots.
"Like they say, you can't take the country out of the boy," Alan said. "You can't take Waynesville out of the boy either."
Alan was born in Waynesville 40 years ago and has moved around the country playing music for the last 20 years.
Recently, Alan had a contract with the military for morale welfare and recreation to perform for the troops.
"When I perform for them I feel like I'm doing my part," he said. "I've heard from so many members of the military that it is very important to have actual live entertainment and not just background noise. It really helps boost morale."
Alan said while he was on contract, he was able to perform a few times for the soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood and really enjoyed it.
"It was really cool to go back to Fort Leonard Wood and perform since I'm from that area."
Alan said he wanted to join the military after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but was not able to join because he had too many tattoos. He said performing for the troops makes him feel like he is doing his part and contributing to his country.
"It meant a lot to me to know I was giving back in some way," he said.
Over the last two months, Alan has lived in Los Angeles competing on Fox's X Factor." Alan's unique and soulful voice impressed judges Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato. He recently advanced to the Top 16.
Alan said he is thankful for the experience and the opportunities the show has given him.
"It's the opportunity to get to perform in front of such a big crowd — to finally pour my heart out on the stage and to be around so many big music producers like L.A. Reid and Simon, to validate me and tell me how unique my voice is, it's just incredible."
Last week, Alan earned the third most votes from viewers out of the 13 contestants competing on the "X Factor."
Alan is simply taken aback by all of the support he has received, especially from people in the Waynesville area.
"I'm blown away and overwhelmed by the feedback,"he said.
Alan said he "couldn't believe" that there has been a billboard and signs with his face on it all around town. He said he actually lived in St. Louis more years than he did in Waynesville.
Page 2 of 2 - "I feel like the whole state is supporting me. It's absolutely incredible," Alan said. "I can't say how much I appreciate all the local support and knowing that Waynesville still remembers me, it's just incredible."
Alan will be singing again on the X Factor which airs live at 7 p.m. tonight. Voting will be open starting after the performance. The next results show is Thursday at 7 p.m.