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‘The Voice’ winner Todd Tilghman honored with parade in Meridian

(AP) — Meridian’s hometown hero was celebrated in style Thursday evening.
Todd Tilghman, the 42-year old Meridian native who made national headlines by winning NBC’s “The Voice” earlier this month, was honored for his accomplishment with a ceremonial key to the city and a parade downtown.
Tilghman was presented with a key to the city in front of a crowd at Dumont Plaza, surrounded by his wife Brooke, his eight children and several relatives.
Speaking to the spectators, Tilghman reiterated his love for The Queen City and his thankfulness for its citizens’ support.
“It’s really very humbling. It really is,” Tilghman said. “I did my due diligence, but I just sang the songs. Everyone else did the rest. Everyone did the voting, and making signs and billboards and putting them on the marquee at McDonald’s. They all did all of this, so I’m really super grateful for this and really super humbled by this.”
Following the ceremony, a parade of several dozen vehicles, decorated with posters and signs congratulating Tilghman, made their way down 22nd Avenue past Dumont Plaza.
Michelle Harrison was one of the attendees and said she’s been watching “The Voice” since the singing competition show first aired and watches it with her five grandchildren every week.
Watching this season, however, meant a lot more.
“We were all Team Todd,” Harrison said. “He’s so humble. He’s an inspiration, like all the great legends. It just makes you feel good about where you are.”
Chris Burchfield said he attended the event to join in the celebration of Tilghman, whose feat means more during a national pandemic.
“We came here to support Todd and what he’s done for the city, and his ability to sing and share the goodness of joy,” Burchfield said. “Especially in this time now with COVID-19, he shared that joy and lifted people’s spirits.”