Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Photos: Finale shots of finalists sharing a duet and interacting with host, Kirk Franklin.
Leandria Johnson has "leaped into her destiny." Crowned the season three winner of BET's SUNDAY BEST, the 27-year-old Orlando, FL native discovered last night literally what it means to gain from losing. The praise and worship leader came to the New Orleans auditions with nothing but the clothes on her back, but left with the title Sunday Best, keys to a 2010 Ford SHO and a future overflowing with professional possibilities. Viewers voting online, by text, or phone sealed her fate as the third woman to win the title in the three year run of the show, while many followers commented online they wanted her opponent to break the all female winning streak. The man to beat was 79-year-old Elder Goldwire McClendon of Philadelphia, PA.
Christians have seen Leandria Johnson's type before in the pages of scripture. Her journey to Sunday Best unfolded like the familiar biblical account of the woman with the "issue" of blood who desperately pressed her way through a crowd just to touch the hem of Christ's garment. In an interview Johnson testified that her issue was losing her home to foreclosure a day before she auditioned. Despite this unfortunate news, Johnson decided to pray and press her way to the New Orleans Convention Center to compete for a chance at having a better life. Wearing flip flops and gym socks and an outfit she'd pulled together from clothing she'd blindly tossed in a bag, Johnson was almost eliminated because she did not look the part according to show Judge Erica Campbell. After putting her spin on a congregational hymn belting "This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it," the judges lauded her with a standing ovation, unanimously convinced that she possessed vocal star power.
Show judge Yolanda Adams told Johnson about her powerful voice, "I feel the pain of you, but I feel the victory of you [sic]."
The emotional dichotomy Adams' words capture was clearly reflected in Johnson's song choices during the finale. She performed a trio of songs including “I Love the Lord,” “He Was There,” and "In the Midst of It All," which happens to be a Yolanda Adams classic and is the singer's personal banner. There was a time when the vocalist didn’t want to live she confessed in a one-on-one conversation with Burrell, but she believes God kept her “in the midst of it all.” Thankful she’s still here , Johnson, also a mother of three, encouraged other struggling young women to never give up.
"It's never over and always remember you can do all things through Christ which strengthens you," she said.
A living testament to those words Leandria Johnson has a new song to sing, "I Shall Leap Into My Destiny" an inspirational single she performed after being newly branded Sunday Best.
LISTEN HEAR: Click on "My Love" in The Slice Juice Player to the left to hear the HOT title cut from Tolumide's latest.
TolumiDE (pronounced toe-LU-mee-day) is one of the newest artists to embrace the urban contemporary gospel genre. With a style that is uniquely hers and a ministry that can't be compared to any current artist of the day, she's forging her own path in inspirational music. Making her way to the U.S. by way of Nigeria and Canada, TolumiDE's sound is a mixture of urban, world, soul, funk, reggae, gospel and, of course, African rhythms, all rolled up into one. The recipient of the 2009 African Heritage Award for Outstanding African Artist is dropping her first full-length project entitled My Love on Tuesday, May 25, 2010. The project is being distributed nationally by Edmondson Communications, Inc. and is available in Christian bookstores and online sites including Amazon.com and iTunes.
The artist officially released the project at Washington, D.C.'s hot spot Busboys & Poets.
The industry has already been abuzz about the singer's lead single, "My Love", a funky, infectious pop and urban tune about the artist's relationship with the Lord. The single's video, directed by Tayo Abereoje for Black Royal Pictures, has also caught the attention of fans and gospel industry insiders alike with thousands of views on countless video websites. Exposing all the musical sides of the artist, the CD, My Love, is power-packed with one great track after another.
TolumiDE uniquely packages inspirational messages with brilliant songwriting, flawless production and riveting vocals. Throughout the twelve tracks, all penned by the artist herself, TolumiDE bares her musical soul and takes the listener on an emotive and telling journey of her life and her Lord. Songs like the catchy "More Than You'll Ever Know" and the slick "What I'd Like To Be" are winners. "More Than You'll Ever Know" is a relaxed track about true love and "What I'd Like To Be" takes you by the hand with its captivating hook and memorable melody.
The Washington, D.C.-based singer is a graphic designer by day and an artist by night. While attending York University in Toronto, she became part of the multiple award-nominated group, Women Ah Run Tings. The group garnered numerous Canadian Music Award nominations, opened for artists such as and secured airplay on stations like Much Music, Canada's #1 Video Music Channel. In 2008, TolumiDE released an EP entitled Specialty which saw moderate success and the lead single's video "Because You Know" was played on MTV Base Africa, Channel O, Nigezie TV and other online media outlets. Through her career, she's been blessed to perform at , the Vancouver Jazz Festival, the Toronto Jazz Festival, the Nigerian Entertainment Awards, FestAfrica, the Canadian Reggae Music Awards and other prestigious events.
She's excited about the new project and feels that her fans will love it as well. "It's Gospel Soul and Afro-pop CD with a unique blend of sincere lyrics and invigorating music that fuses African and Western elements," she explains. "It's definitely a good world music mix with elements of Reggae and Jazz. I'm really excited with what I have to share."
For more information about TolumiDE, log on to www.TolumiDEmusic.com.