When the curtain pulled back and the star looked in the faces of hundreds of teenagers shouting out his name, he could have been on any stage at any place in the country. But this time, it was different. The stage looked all too familiar, and even some of the people in the crowd looked familiar.
It was, in fact, very familiar. After the many stages, the many award shows, the many appearances on national and international programs and the millions of fans, the star had come back home to Petersburg.
For the first time in years, the star know as Trey Songz - who had skyrocketed to international fame and two Grammy nominations - had returned to where everything began. Back to the place where he could leave Trey Songz behind and just be Tremaine Aldon Neverson.
When Trey Songz gave a surprise concert at Petersburg High School two days before Thanksgiving last year, he didn't try to hide his roots. He was proud to show them.
"I want to let you know, I am from this city," he told the crowd in the packed auditorium. "Every time you see me on TV at some awards show or you hear me on the radio, I want you to remember that I am from this city," he said. "Anything you see me do, you can do better. Nothing is impossible, and it all starts right here at home."
And after Trey Songz walked off that stage, after he shook hands with fans, former teachers and local officials and walked towards his proud mother, who was waiting for him wearing a smile in her face, Trey became Tremaine again. At least for the two days that he would spend at home, in Petersburg.