POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- For Chase Likens, the national spotlight is a dream come true. For his hometown, it's putting them on the map.
We spent the day talking with arguably his biggest fans who said it was never a matter of if Chase would make it big, but when.
“He was opening act for Paul "Bubb" Williams," Gwen Beattie said. "I took it down and said, 'You're going to be a star someday, so sign this. He signed it on November 6, 2007."
Beattie is a self-described super fan of Chase Likens. She's been following his music for years.
“I cut up newspapers all the time. So, as you can see, I'm following him,” Beattie said.
Known for his country crooning, Chase has been a regular on the local stage. We caught up with Chase the actor in 2008 at Point Pleasant High School for the opening of their new auditorium.
But, his performance days started much earlier than that. In kindergarten at Beale Elementary, he did Elvis in a school talent show.
“I knew from an early age he was destined to be a showoff,” said Tish Graziano, his sixth grade elementary teacher.
If there's one thing Chase did better than sing, it was make a lasting impression. Everywhere we went, teachers, friends were eager to share a Chase Likens story.
“I was his English teacher for four years, and I taught him everything he knows,” Mary Ann Neal said.
“I've been driving a school bus since 1977 and I told him, 'Chase, when you make it big, I sure would like to drive your tour bus for ya.' He said, 'Not a problem Dave. I'll make it happen,' " said Dave Downing, school resource officer at Point Pleasant High School.
But, if there's one person who really knows him better than all the rest, it's his best friend and childhood sweetheart Hannah Workman.
“I met chase at vacation Bible school when I was probably 5, and I remember even then he was a gentleman. He put his arm around me. Chase has the most beautiful heart and he is so genuine, and I feel like that's why people are going to love him,” Workman said.
And now folks who already know Chase hope the rest of the country will hear what they hear and vote.
Chase and the rest of the top 12 males will perform next Tuesday night on American Idol.