Best known to millions of TV viewers as a top four finalist during the 2007 season of “American Idol,” LaKisha Jones is a powerhouse singer. She electrified “American Idol” viewers with the Dreamgirls showstopper “And I Am Telling You,” and later made it to Broadway in the Oprah Winfrey-produced, Tony Award-winning musical The Color Purple.
LaKisha’s drive and motivation dates back to her childhood in Flint, Michigan. Raised by her mother and grandmother, Jones was exposed to music by legendary singers such as Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle, with her grandmother urging the young girl to “let your voice shine.” Joining various chorale groups and a cappella choruses throughout high school, Jones entered and won the top prize at Flint’s local talent contest, “The Super Show” in 1997.
She auditioned for “American Idol” in 2003, but didn’t make the cut. In 2007, Jones drove to New York to audition again for “Idol,” singing "Think" by Aretha Franklin. The judges were impressed with her powerful performance, and Simon Cowell noted that he "loved this girl." Jones made it onto the sixth season of the hugely popular show. During the season, she performed “Diamonds Are Forever,” and “Midnight Train to Georgia,” among other hits, and ultimately came in fourth.
She segued from “Idol” to the Broadway stage for The Color Purple where she played two roles: that of a church lady and of the pivotal character Sophia. The latter role she alternated with R&B icon Chaka Khan, who became her mentor. Jones later participated in Khan’s 35th Anniversary Tour. Following her Broadway stint, she 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.
LaKisha’s album, So Glad I’m Me, is full of her expressive, full-bodied and arresting vocals. Working with hit-making songwriters and producers, LaKisha recorded the album in 2009. Noteworthy songs include the single “Same Song,” penned by award-winning songwriter Dianne Warren, Whitney Houston’s “You Give Good Love,” and Jones’ soaring ballad to her daughter, “Beautiful Girl.”
A frequent soloist with symphonies around North America, LaKisha returned to her home town of Flint, Michigan to appear with the Flint Symphony Orchestra in January. She recently launched a new show, her tribute to Whitney Houston called “To Whitney, With Love.” In April 2018, LaKisha joined the cast of Rocktopia on Broadway with the 20-piece New York Contemporary Symphony Orchestra, appearing on the same stage where she made her Broadway debut in The Color Purple.
If you saw LaKisha in "Broadway Rocks" with the Cape Symphony in February 2018, you know how great she is. Don’t miss the chance to see her again. If you’ve never seen her before, make your plans for New Year’s Day because this is your opportunity! LaKisha joins the orchestra for New Year’s Day Party on January 1st. Visit capesymphony.org or call 508.362.1111.