This is the first installment of a three-part series on the amazing rise to musical stardom of the 16-year-old Filipino/Mexican-American contestant in Season 11 of the popular singing talent show, American Idol.
Jessica Sanchez was born in Chula Vista, California on August 4, 1995. Her mother is from Bataan, Philippines, while her father is a Mexican-American originally from Texas
Sanchez studied at Westlake Middle School in Chula Vista, California and is now in the 11th grade on a home-study program. She was previously selected for full-scholarship training at the Theater of Arts in Hollywood.
16-year-old Sanchez started singing at a very young age and was inspired by her favorite artists Beyonce and Eminem.
Sanchez’s musical interests were influenced by popular singers Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Celine Dion, among others.
While studying, Sanchez performed in several amateur singing contests and musical shows to hone her singing talent.
At age 10, she was given the opportunity to show her talent in the popular TV show “Its Showtime at the Apollo,” where she was given an standing ovation.
In the show, she did Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” with gusto which prompted show host Whoopi Goldberg to call her back on stage for another round of applause.
A year after her appearance at the show, Sanchez appeared in America’s Got Talent, where she competed in the finals. Then-American Idol Judge Brandy Norwood said, “You’re gonna be huge, I promise,”after listening to her renditon of “I surrender” by Celine Dion.
Simon Cowell, then producer of America’s Got Talent show and a former judge of American Idol said, she is ”one of the best I have ever heard.”
After her stint at Its Showtime at the Apollo and America’s Got Talent, the young, talented artist became popular among events producers where she performed the National Anthem flawlessly, after doing her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner in 2008 for the San Diego Chargers vs. New York Jets
The demand for Sanchez in events where the National Anthem needs to be heard, has caught up on her tight schedules.
Aside from working on her forthcoming debut album, Sanchez is tied up with her nationwide concert tour along with the top winners season 11 where she emerged as runner up to Philip Philips.
Sanchez’s participation and success as a finalist in Season 11 of American Idol will be reported in Part 2 of this three-part series. Watch for it here soon.
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