Alexis Grace wowed the judges on season eight of American Idol with a big, soulful voice that belied her petite stature, just shy of five feet. “The dark horse of the competition,” as Simon Cowell called her, sung the music she grew up listening to as the daughter of a Beale Street musician. This year Alexis is hard at work writing and recording her first solo album. Release date 2014.
At her childhood home, Alexis studied the masters of soul and R&B such as Aretha Franklin, Ann Peebles and Whitney Houston. On Sundays, she learned gospel harmonies in her church’s youth choir. At Overton High School, she performed in plays and musicals as part of its nationally recognized Creative and Performing Arts Program. Her formal music education continued at the University of Memphis’ Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. From jazz to opera, Alexis’ enthusiasm for a wide variety of styles makes her a uniquely qualified cultural ambassador for the Memphis Music Foundation.
It was the music of her soul, however, that inspired the trip to her first American Idol audition, at age 16, in Orlando. She tried again, at 19, in Memphis, and once more the following year in Louisville, Kentucky, where producers finally sent her to Hollywood and she became a popular finalist. Her positive attitude and fierce determination still propel her career as an entertainer. She currently co-hosts the No. 1 rated mid-day radio show in Memphis on top-40 station Q107.5 WHBQ-FM. During Idol season, she is a regular commentator on the local Fox 13 news program “Good Morning Memphis.” She appears often with other Idol alums in concerts across the country, and all over Memphis -- from playing jazzy sets in nightclubs to singing the National Anthem for the Memphis Grizzlies NBA team.
She continues to expand her skills and share her talent with others. She recently dedicated 10 weeks to a community theater production of the musical “Chicago.” Her appearance in the leading role of Roxie Hart drew nightly standing ovations, rave reviews and sold-out houses for Theatre Memphis. She also performed in the professional production of “Legally Blonde", and will appear in a new Comedy at Voices of the South Theatre in January.
Alexis still finds the time to write and record music, play guitar, and sing showtunes to her daughter, Ryan Elizabeth.
She hopes you enjoy "James Dean" and the many more to come after. James Dean is available on iTunes.