Former Grambling State student Mionne Featherstone decided to take a big step in her singing career, and that step just happened to land her in the city that is famous for flashing lights and bright stars, Hollywood.
The Atlanta native auditioned for the final season of the most popular singing competition television show, ‘American Idol’ and was issued a golden ticket to travel and further compete in Hollywood. She was one of 75,000 aspiring singers who auditioned in major cities such as Atlanta, San Francisco and Denver.
But before being a contender on the show, Featherstone was a member of the performing arts group Lyrical Quest, who says she decided to make singing a career when she came to Grambling State University.
“Although my grandmother taught me how to sing, the Black National Anthem, without music to be exact, I didn’t realize I could actually sing until I came to Grambling and people began telling me that they liked my voice and asking me to perform at their events,” said Featherstone.
What took her so long to audition?
“I’ve always been afraid of rejection, and people had been constantly telling me that I should audition for the show,” says the singer who credits performers such as Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae and Lauryn Hill as her favorite singers.
While she was given a golden ticket to compete in Hollywood, Featherstone first had to go through a few preliminary auditions with the executive directors of the show before she could advance any further. She sang “Let’s Hear It For the Boys” by Denise Williams.
Finally making it to the celebrity auditions, the 20 year old sang “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse in front of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. in Little Rock.
“It was nobody but God,” said Featherstone who said she wouldn’t cry if she found out she would advance to Hollywood but “as soon as I opened the door with the ticket in my hand, my stepmom, Kay Baker, was standing there and she told me ‘Now Mionne you know I’m not one to be religious but I prayed to everyone for you to make it- God, Allah, etc.’”
The young singer gives credit to her community who encouraged her the entire way.
“I’m blessed to be able to have this opportunity. It’s the best feeling right now,” said Featherstone.
She will be on the show for all of Hollywood Week, but because of contractual agreements and the outcome of the show, Featherstone’s unable to illustrate how it went for her.
She advises anyone who is afraid to step out on their faith and take a chance to “just do it. Loving your craft is so important because if you don’t, who will?”
‘American Idol’ airs locally at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays on FOX. Featherstone can be followed on social media accounts Instagram at @mionnedestiny and on Facebook: Mionne Destiny.