Latest, The Awakening of Le'Andria Johnson Deluxe Edition (2012)
Grammy Recording Artist
2012 Grammy Winner for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance (Debut Single Jesus)
Season three winner of BET’s Sunday Best in 2010
Named Best Female Gospel Artist of 2011 for the First Annual Digital Gospel Music Awards
The Awakening of Le'Andria Johnson
The 700 Club
CBN.com -A DREAM REALIZED
Le'Andria is an accomplished songwriter, producer and praise and worship leader at her hometown church, HQ Ministries in Altamonte Springs, Florida. A self-taught musician, she began singing at the age of two in her father’s church. Yet it wasn’t until she was a teenager that she realized that she might be able to sing for a living. While she served as praise and worship leader for her father's church, her big break came at age seventeen, when she sang in front of an audience of 8,000 at Pastor Shirley Caesar’s annual conference. “That was my first big platform, and I was shocked at the positive response by the people,” Johnson recalled.
However, Johnson found it difficult to ignite her dream of becoming a gospel music artist. She saved money to enter the studio and record, but in the end had little to show for it except more frustration. Then a friend urged her to audition for BET’s gospel singing competition Sunday Best.
Le’Andria was a single mother of three, twice divorced, and struggling to financially stay afloat. The day before auditioning for the show, Le’Andria lost her home in foreclosure. Friends and family helped her finance her trip for the show. She left Orlando for the competition in New Orleans with the clothes on her back. She says what motivated her to go to the audition were her kids. “I knew I wanted better. I figured I would try out and see where I go from there,” says Le’Andria. She knew if things went well at the audition, it could mean a better life for her and her kids. In flip flops and gym socks, she auditioned for the competition and was almost eliminated because she did not look the part, according to show judge Erica Campbell [Mary Mary]. After her soulful performance of "This Is the Day the Lord Hath Made," she was selected to be a contestant. “I came here and I gave it my all,” says Le’Andria.
In June 2010 Le’Andria was crowned the Sunday Best winner, with over 2 million votes, a placing that not only came with the gift of a new car and a cash prize, but also a recording deal. Each week she wowed viewers and captured the hearts of millions, including Sunday Best's host Kirk Franklin, judges, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, and Yolanda Adams and celebrity mentor Kim Burrell. For the finale, she performed a medley of three songs, "I Love the Lord," "He Was There," and "In the Midst of It All."
After winning Sunday Best, Le'Andria was signed by showbiz entrepreneur and father of Beyonce, Matthew Knowles, to Music World Gospel, in a joint venture with BET and the Sunday Best brand. A debut seven-song EP, The Awakening of Le'Andria Johnson, was released in 2011, followed by a second seven-song EP, The Evolution of Le'Andria Johnson, in 2012. The two EPs were then combined in 2012 to make a full album, titled The Awakening of Le'Andria Johnson Deluxe.
In February Le’Andria won her first GRAMMY® for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance for her single “Jesus.” She also performed on the 54th Annual GRAMMY® Pre-Telecast Ceremony along with label mate Trin-i-tee 5:7, Kim Burrell and Kelly Price in a segment titled “Ladies of Gospel.”
MUSIC A MINISTRY
After winning Sunday Best, Le’Andria still struggled with worldly habits such as going out to the nightclubs and drinking alcohol. At one point, she felt like she couldn't live up to the standards expected for an inspirational singer. Finally, with God’s help she realized the party lifestyle wasn't for her anymore. She learned how to enjoy herself at functions with others who might be drinking alcohol, and still be true to her faith at the same time.
Today Le’Andria surrounds herself with other women who help to keep her accountable and draws strength in her Christian faith by daily reading her Bible. She continues her commitment to the music ministry of her hometown church and strives to be a positive role model for her three children. “We all have the power to say yes or no,” says Le’Andria referring to the struggles in a person’s life. Talking about her struggles publicly has helped her gain victory in many areas of her life and helped others who are struggling with the same issues. Le’Andria writes many of her own songs using her own personal struggles as inspiration.
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