Outstanding Performance by Ms Tanya LaReese
Tanya LaReese was born March 31, 1971, in Hartford, Connecticut, the daughter of Betty Jean Dodson-Jackson and James Arthur Jackson Senior, a Pentecostal Minister and Gospel vocalist. Tanya's father attended Weaver High School in Hartford, Connecticut with the famous female vocalist Dionne Warwick. They can be seen singing a duet together in his High School Yearbook. James and Dionne sang together in the school choir and talent competitions. Tanya LaReese's parents also sang duets together. They sang gospel in the church choir and recorded a gospel album titled" The Proverbs Gospel Singers" in the mid 1960's. They were celebrities in their hometown of Hartford, Connecticut. Her mother died from breast cancer in 1973, and her father died from a sudden heart attack while playing basketball in 1992. Tanya LaReese holds the memories of her beloved parents very close to her heart.
Tanya LaReese, her two sisters and two brothers were forced to live under strict rules of their family's faith. The girls were not allowed to wear pants, earrings or makeup and could not have boyfriends. The children were not allowed to go to the movies or listen to any music other than gospel. The strict rules did not stop them from listening to music. When their parents were away they watched the Apollo Show, Star Search, Soul Train and listened to R&B and Jazz music on the radio.
Tanya LaReese's American Idol is the late Whitney Houston. Listening to her music as well as Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Holiday, and Patti Labelle contributed to Tanya LaReese's music style. With an extensive backgound in music, Tanya LaReese can deliver very powerful-soulful renditions of today's hottest hits as well as past Gospel and R&B tunes.
Tanya LaReese discovered her talent in the Pentecostal church. Her father managed and formed the group, "The Jackson Five Gospel Singers." The group consisted of her four siblings, Gwendolyn, James, Clara, and Philip. The Jacksons sang at numerous churches and gospel conventions in Connecticut, California and Florida. Tanya LaReese was just four years old when the group started singing.
Although Tanya LaReese knew she wanted to pursue a singing career, her love for taking care of elderly had her torn between two careers, nursing and singing. She received a two-year scholarship to attend Saint Petersburg Junior College where she studied music for a while and then began to focus on nursing. While studying nursing, Tanya LaReese never fully gave up her pursuit of her love of music. In 2002, she sang the National Anthem for the United States Army Recruiting Command's Annual Training Convention in Ocean City, Maryland. Everyone was impressed with her strong, soulful voice. They immediately took note of her star qualities and invited her to return the following year.
Tanya LaReese and her cousin Ricky Lewis spent countless hours in his recording studio recording singles and duets. Her cousin suddenly passed away while playing guitar in his hometown church in Atlanta, Georgia. The demo tapes were never released. Tanya LaReese had hopes of getting her music out. The tragedy set her back, but it did not stop her.
Tanya LaReese continues to sing in the church, talent competitions, weddings and more. She has been singing across the state of Florida for the past few years. Letters and calls constantly flow requesting her presence at major events. She joined American Idol's, Clay Aiken and sang in his Joyful Noise Tour at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida.
Tanya LaReese completed her very first inspirational, gospel, debut CD, "READY OR NOT!" on May 12, 2007 with all songs written and co-produced by her. This CD consists of real life experiences that people go through day to day. This CD is AMAZING!!!! Tanya LaReese finally reached her goal, to have a CD in hand! Now she states "I'M GOING AFTER THIS WORLDWIDE!!!