From Idol to Diva, Jessica Sanchez
American Idol Season 11 contestant and runner-up, Jessica Elizabeth Sanchez rose to fame by singing ballads from the likes of Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. Born and raised in Chula Vista, California, the Filipino-Mexican singer spent much of her time on honing and improving her vocal prowess with such musical influences as Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Celine Dion and Etta James.
Even at the age of two, Sanchez already aspired to become a mainstream singer. She took every opportunity to sing in front of everybody, like in birthday parties and even in front her grandmother’s friends. At that time, she was so shy that she had to stare at the floor the whole time. Eventually, she overcame her shyness when she performed Respect by Aretha Franklin on an episode of Showtime at the Apollo and received a standing ovation.
At the age of 11, Jessica Sanchez competed on the first season of America’s Got Talent. Despite her successful audition, she wasn’t really seen in the show until the wild-card round. It was Brandy Norwood, who gave her another chance to compete for the finals. She performed Celine Dion’s, I Surrender, where AGT’s executive producer named her as “one of the best I have ever heard.”
From then on, Sanchez received invitations to perform at various events. She sang The Star-Spangled Banner in the National Football League matchup between the San Diego Chargers and the New York Jets. She was also invited to sing the national anthem at a game between the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins.
In 2009, she recorded a cover of Rihanna’s Don’t Stop the Music under an independent record label, Spin Move Records. Aside from that, she also recorded another cover of Etta James’ I’d Rather Go Blind under the same record label.
The singer was one of the singers who were chosen to take part in the collaboration video; We Are the World 25 for Haiti. All artists were recognized collectively as “Persons of the Week” on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer.
One year after, Jessica also nailed her American Idol audition, climbing into the final two of the show. In the performance night of the season finale, she performed three songs – I Have Nothing, The Prayer and her single, Change Nothing. The following night, she received a standing ovation as she sang with Jennifer Holiday in the song, And I’m telling You I’m Not Going. At the end of the show, she finished as runner-up.
Jessica’s first solo concert was held on February 14, 2013 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in the Philippines, where she sang songs from her new album. The following month, she released the lead single of her debut album, Tonight featuring Ne-Yo.
Her career doesn’t end with her singing though. She also appeared on the season finale episode of Glee and performed Zedd’s Clarity and Little Mix’s Wings.
Currently, Sanchez is posting more videos on YouTube, most of which are her very own rendition of popular songs. One of the most memorable one is her mashup of Beyonce’s songs, Flawless and Drunk in Love, which received almost 5 million views.From Idol to Diva, Jessica Sanchez by Holly Bissonnette