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American-idol

Lakisha Jones: From Flint to Finals

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As a tear rolled down her face, Lakisha Jones received the news she so badly wanted to hear: She was an American Idol semifinalist.

The 27-year-old single mother and bank employee who hails from the blue-collar city of Flint long has dreamed of making it in the music business. Now, she is a step closer thanks to the hugely popular FOX TV talent show.

Jones, who bears both a vocal and physical resemblance to Aretha Franklin, also from the Detroit area, wowed the judges with a pair of the Queen of Soul's standards: "Think" and "Until You Come Back To Me." After her initial audition earned her a trip to the next round in Hollywood, Jones jumped into the embraces of her waiting family, snatched up her daughter and broke into tears.

Lakisha and Brionne Even ultra-mean British judge Simon Cowell smiled. "Love this girl," he said. "Love you, Lakisha. You're a good old-fashioned belter."

FOX declined a request to interview Jones. But in her appearances on the show and a video posted on the American Idol website, she appears humble before the judges and passionate about her family — especially her daughter, Brionne, who turns four today.

"I just believe in being real, being who you are and staying strong in your beliefs," Jones said on the video.

Jones says the performer she most admires is Whitney Houston, who has had her share of ups and downs. She also identifies with Fantasia Barrino, a single mother who won in the show's third season.

"It's hard juggling, trying to live your life dream of becoming a singer and also being a mom, a full-time mom," Jones said.

Jones' grandmother, 89-year-old Ruth Morris of Flint, recalled how Jones' passion for singing has grown since she got her start at age five at Flint's Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

"She is a person that loved people and she's always been great, wonderful," Morris, who was among the family members who traveled to the New York audition, said in a telephone interview. "She loves the Lord, she loves the singing."

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Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Great work!

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Your are Great. And so is your site! Awesome content. Good job guys!

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Well done!

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LaKisha, You have amazing talent. It will take you very far. Please don't allow yourself to be compared to Fantasia (despite being a single mother)or no one else. Don't allow the media to lable you as such, being a single mother does not define who you are. Just do you. Congratulations on an amazing performance. I am looking forward to the entire idol season with you taking the crown home as no one in the past seasons can compare to the vocals you posess. In regards to your daughter, she's your rock, your precious gift from God. Keep your head up and make things happen. I'm in your corner all the way.

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Wow, LaKisha...in my opinion you are the best yet--all six season's worth. You also seem to be a really decent person and a devoted mom; I hope you win!

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if that song is what got jennifer hudson and Oscar then someone needs to start building Lakisha a couple of shelves to hold her. that girl is AMAZING!!!!!

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What talent. If there is a sequel to "Dreamgirls", Lakisha should polish up on her acting skills....we now have two girls that can take center stage anytime. I wish her the best. She has a bright future in the record business. I look forward to the weeks to come on American Idol so I can watch the evolution of a super star.

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Lakisha, What is there to say about Lakisha? She has won, like Simon said everyone else can go home.

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Bravo Lakisha! You are clearly this year's winner, but in any case win or lose, you've arrived and I don't think you'll be going back to the bank...at least not as a teller! :)

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I agree Heln B she is wonderful I love Melinda also

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