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Every season, American Idol has one or two contestants with undeniable powerhouse voices who seem certain to catapult straight from the auditions to the finals. In the sixth season of the show, Lakisha Jones was one of those contestants. Ever since Jones -- who was born in Fort Meade, MD, but grew up in Flint, MI, where she wound up working as a bank teller as she raised her daughter, Brionne -- first appeared in the New York audition singing Aretha Franklin's "Think," it seemed inevitable for her to make it into the Top 24. It seemed like a talent as obvious as hers would have been a shoo-in to be discovered, meaning that she was just the kind of singer that American Idol was designed to find.
Jones had been singing since she was a child -- on her Idol Q&A she claimed she started singing at the age of five -- and received some formal vocal training. Prior to auditioning for Idol, she placed as the runner-up on the Houston radio show program Gimme the Mike in 2005, and then two years later, at the age of 27, she began her American Idol journey. After that impressive first audition, she sailed through to Hollywood, and then won a position as one of the final 12 female contestants. She came storming out of the gates in the first week of real competition with a searing version of the Dreamgirls standard "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." It was the showstopper of the week -- so good that Simon Cowell declared that he's "very tempted to tell the other 23 contestants to pack their bags and buy their tickets home" -- and then in her second week she delivered a warm, soulful version of "Midnight Train to Georgia."
Ultimately, Jones came in fourth place and participated in the Top Ten American Idol Tour. Post-American Idol, Jones continued to make live appearances at public events and on such television shows as MTV's Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle Woods. In 2009, it was announced that Jones debut solo album So Glad I'm Me would drop in May on Elite Music.
LaKisha Ann Jones (born January 13, 1980) is an American singer. She placed fourth on the sixth season of American Idol.
Personal life 
Jones was born at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, to a teacher at the Flint Foundation Academy. She was raised by her grandmother, Ruth Jefferson Morris.
An only child, Jones is a Baptist who began singing at the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church at age five. She was formally trained in classical music, although her favorite genre is gospel music. Jones always dreamed of becoming a singer.
She was home schooled in Flint, then attended Flint Central High School, where, in one of her earliest performances, she appeared in a play called Lead Poisoning. While in high school, Jones performed with one of the groups in the choral department: the Madrigal Singers. Jones graduated in 1998 and attended the University of Michigan-Flint, majoring in music. During college, she performed in the play Godspell. Jones stated in her Idol interview that Flint, Michigan was her home. She was a single mother with a five year old daughter who encouraged her to try out for Idol.
Jones moved to Houston, Texas, where she lived for six years. One of her earliest jobs in Houston was that of a secretary at Abundant Life Cathedral, a church with 7,000 parishioners. Prior to working at the church, Jones sang in the 70-member choir. The choir has produced well-known gospel singer Yolanda Adams, among others. In 2006, Jones moved to Fort Meade, Maryland, in order to be closer to her cousins and other relatives. At that time, Jones obtained a job as a bank teller at Provident Bank in Millersville, Maryland, which she gave up when she moved to Hollywood to compete in American Idol.
Jones was the 1997 winner of Flint's amateur talent show, The Supershow, which is now-defunct. While living in Houston, she took second place in the 2005 Gimme the Mic competition.
On October 5, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California, she married Larry Davis, a financial advisor. She has a daughter, Brionne (born February 20, 2003) from a past relationship; the couple welcomed their first child, daughter Ava LaRynn, in September 2009.
American Idol 
American Idol performances 
Jones auditioned singing "Think" by Aretha Franklin. The judges were impressed with her powerful vocal and performance, and Simon noted that he "loved this girl". Jones was shown emotionally embracing her daughter after being sent into the next round. In her farewell montage on the episode of her elimination it was shown that she also sang "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" during her audition. She also performed Stevie Wonder's "Until You Come Back To Me" during one of the Hollywood audition rounds.
American Idol performances ^Note 1 When Ryan Seacrest announced the results for this particular night, Jones was declared safe placing in the top three.^Note 2 When Ryan Seacrest announced the results for the particular night, Jones was among in the bottom three, but declared safe second when Sanjaya Malakar was eliminated.^Note 3 Due to the Idol Gives Back performance, the Top 6 remained intact for another week.
Post-American Idol 
Jones toured with the Top 10 Idols on the Idols tour. She received positive reviews for her solo performance of I Will Always Love You. She performed the Star-Spangled Banner at Comerica Park before the Detroit Tigers game on June 8, 2007 versus the New York Mets.
Jones also had two homecoming events. The first at the Abundant Life Cathedral Church in Houston, Texas (Houston was her home from 2000 to 2006) on May 30, 2007. This date was also declared 'LaKisha Jones Day' in Houston by Mayor Bill White.
The other homecoming was at Atwood Stadium, Flint, Michigan, where Jones was born and raised and where most of her family still resides, on June 9, 2007. It was at this ceremony that she received a $6,000 check and six-month free lease on a new Buick LaCrosse. She also received a Flint watch, personalized tree ornaments from Bronner's and a card signed by 300 fans.
In late September 2007, it was announced that Jones would take over the role of the church soloist in the Broadway musical The Color Purple as of January 9, 2008. Jones played the role of Sofia during matinées (standing in for Chaka Khan).
In June 2008, Jones vocal coached the girls on MTV's 'Legally Blonde: The Search For Ellie Woods'. She demonstrated 'Amazing Grace' using chest and head voice with different vibratos. In May 2008, she appeared on American Idol Extra and Just As I Am, a song from her upcoming album. Her debut single So Glad I'm Me, written by Melanie Rutherford and produced by Edwin Nicholas, who produced soul musicians such as Patti LaBelle and Gerald Levert, was released on October 21, 2008. The album with the same title was released on May 19, 2009.