Best known to millions of TV viewers as a top four finalist during the 2007 season of “American Idol,” LaKisha electrified the audience with the Dreamgirls showstopper “And I Am Telling You.”
She then segued from “Idol” to the Broadway stage in the Oprah Winfrey-produced, Tony Award-winning musical The Color Purple where she played two roles: that of a “church lady” and of the pivotal character “Sophia."
Her last album, So Glad I’m Me, was full of LaKisha’s expressive, full-bodied and arresting vocals. Working with hit-making songwriters and producers including Tony Nicholas (Patti LaBelle, Luther Vandross), Ro & Sauce (Brandy, Ne-Yo) and Greg Curtis (Keyshia Cole, Yolanda Adams), she created a record featuring a spirited mix of R&B and soul. Noteworthy songs include the single “Same Song,” penned by award-winning songwriter Dianne Warren, Whitney Houston’s “You Give Good Love,” the gospel song “Just As I Am,” and LaKisha’s soaring ballad to her daughter, “Beautiful Girl.”
Her drive and motivation dates back to her childhood in Flint, Michigan. Raised by her mother and grandmother, LaKisha was exposed to the music of legendary singers such as Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and Patti LaBelle. Her grandmother urged the young girl, “Let your voice shine,” prompting LaKisha to sing in church choirs and music programs. Joining chorale groups and a cappella choruses throughout high school, she entered and won the top prize at Flint’s local talent contest, “The Super Show” in 1997. A two-year stint studying vocal performance at the University of Michigan left the high school graduate craving to sing more, rather than hit the books. She relocated to various cities (Dallas, Houston and Virginia Beach) to pursue her dream as a singer.
In 2003, LaKisha auditioned for “American Idol” but didn’t make the cut. She drove to New York to audition again in 2007 and made it, eventually becoming the fourth finalist. While playing “Sophia” on Broadway, she alternated the role with R&B icon Chaka Khan, who became her mentor. LaKisha participated in Khan’s 35th Anniversary Tour. Next, Jones provided vocal coaching on MTV’s reality competition “Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle Woods,” a show designed to find and hone Broadway’s next star.
A frequent soloist with symphonies around North America and the world, LaKisha will be joining the Cape Symphony on February 17 and 18 for Broadway Rocks!