New Bedford native, Samantha Johnson has been the talk of the town for the past few weeks.

After dominating her initial audition for the NBC hit show "America's Got Talent," and wowing the show's esteemed judges panel, Johnson became all the rage on the Southcoast.

The love continued to flow Friday evening as the city held a sending off rally for the 26-year-old who's next stop is New York for the show's live auditions.

Although scattered rain drops made their way onto the shore at New Bedford's Pier 3, downtown, Johnson's fans battled through and set up shop to celebrate the young star's success.

Led by New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, who opened the ceremony with a strong sense of pride for his city's shining star, the crowd chanted for the musician to come on stage and lead them in a tune.

After a few seconds of cheers, the talent show contestant appeared on center stage, overjoyed and humbled by the turn out. She embraced her Mayor and thanked all of her supporters for rooting her on, as the sun came out to further excite the crowd.

She wrapped up a brief speech by reiterating that she will do her best to represent New Bedford in the best way possible and go as far as she possibly can in the competition.

Of course, once she took the stage the crowd chanted for her to sing a song. In true star fashion, the artist serenaded everyone by singing a Stevie Wonder classic.

Getting a chance to speak one-on-one with the budding star, she seemed truly touched by the support.

"It means everything to me," Johnson said, referencing the crowd of supporters who showed up to support despite the rain. "I'm overwhelmed by the support and I feel so much more confident going forward in the competition."

For every ounce of confidence she exuded last night, it seemed like the crowd had 10 pounds more. Support like that might just be what she needs to go far and win the whole thing!

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