Le'Andria Johnson

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Le’Andria Johnson
Birth nameLe’Andria Johnson
Born(1983-01-23) January 23, 1983 (age 31)
Palatka, Florida
GenresGospel, contemporary Christian
OccupationsMusician, singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2010–present
LabelsMusic World (2011–2014)
RCA Inspiration (2014–present)
Websiteleandriajohnson.com
 
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Le’Andria Johnson
Birth nameLe’Andria Johnson
Born(1983-01-23) January 23, 1983 (age 31)
Palatka, Florida
GenresGospel, contemporary Christian
OccupationsMusician, singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2010–present
LabelsMusic World (2011–2014)
RCA Inspiration (2014–present)
Websiteleandriajohnson.com

Le’Andria Johnson (born January 23, 1983) is an American gospel musician and singer-songwriter. She was the season three winner of the BET gospel singing competition show Sunday Best.[1]

Johnson's Sunday Best coronation song, "I Shall Leap Into My Destiny", co-written by Johnson, entered the Billboard Gospel chart at number 1. Johnson’s post-Sunday The Awakening of Le’Andria Johnson was released on Aug 23, 2011,[2] Music World Entertainment Gospel and Music World Music. The album debuted at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Gospel Albums, number 3 on the U.S. Billboard Independent Albums, and number 24 on the Billboard 200.[3] Johnsons’ second major-label album The Awakening of Le’Andria Johnson, which included seven new songs was released on February 14, 2012.[4] Johnson is the first Sunday Best contestant to receive a Grammy Award, which she won in 2012 for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance.

Early life[edit]

Johnson was born in Palatka, Florida, to Bishop Gregory Johnson and First Lady and Pastor Sharon Johnson [5][6] She is one of two daughters (Le'Andria and Tamara) and three sons (Gregory Jr., Terrence, and Michael) all of whom can sing and play instruments. Her brother Terrence co-wrote many of her songs including “I Shall Leap", a song featured on Sunday Best.,[7]

Johnson, whom was born into a musical family, began singing at age two in her father’s church, HQ Ministries in Altamonte Springs, Florida, where she continues to sing every Sunday and Wednesday morning, until she leaves to go on tour at which time her brother takes over.[8][9] She went on to become the praise and worship leader within the church.

Before auditioning for the show, Johnson was a performer, producer, and singer-songwriter. Johnson, whom had three children at the time,[10] was motivated to audition for the show by her children to give them a better life. Johnson had gone through her second divorce as was having a tough time staying financially sound. The day before she left Orlando to try out in New Orleans she lost her house to foreclosure. Her friends and family helped her get to the audition, and Johnson carried what she could and auditioned in flip flops, socks, and the clothes she had on her back. Johnson was almost eliminated because her appearance was not up to par,[11][12] a sentiment expressed by two of the judges Mary Mary, especially Erica Campbell, however after performing “This is the day The Lord Hath made,” she was unanimously voted through., and given a standing ovation by Campbell.[13] [14]

Sunday Best[edit]

Johnson had many good performances on the show, though at times the judges and mentor Kim Burrell sensed a hesitation in her, as if there was something on her mind, that she just couldn’t quite shake off. On the eighth episode, in a conversation that made the air, Johnson told Burrell that at one point she chose death over life in a “mentor moment,” sponsored by Nationwide Insurance.[15]

In a private conversation while being mentored Johnson told mentor Kim Burrell that there was a time that she thought she could not go on in this life, but in that moment God kept her “in the midst of it all,” [16] which was the primary reason she chose to sing the song on episode four of the season.

In episode eight, Mentor Kim Burrell made the comment: “Le’Andria Johnson, is talented… but she’s scared.” [15]

During the final performance show, Leandria faced off against Elder Goldwire for the title of Sunday Best.[17] Johnson performed “I Love the Lord,” “He Was There,” and “In the Midst of It All.”

On June 20, 2010 Le’Andria Johnson was crowned the winner of and claimed the title of Sunday Best.[16][18][19][20] As part of her win, she won a national recording contract, a 2010 Ford Taurus SHO, and a cash prize courtesy of Degree Nature Effects.[20]

Johnson and Elder Goldwire had taped the finale a month before with two different endings, they both appeared on 106 & Park as finalists, and she found out that she won had while back home in Orlando, watching with her family.[8] Johnson was reported to have said, "I was like, 'For real?'. It was crazy, it was bananas, like fireworks. I’ve never seen my family so happy."[8]

Post-Sunday Best[edit]

After winning Sunday Best, Johnson’s label, hoping to capitalize on her new-found audience, released an EP of seven songs on September 6, 2011 entitled The Awakening of Le’Andria Johnson, which spawned the hit, "Jesus", the performance of which would go on to give Johnson her first Grammy nomination and subsequent win. She also co-wrote the Grammy-winning song.[21]

With the success of her first EP, Johnson became the first Sunday Best winner to release two more projects. She released a self-titled, Christmas EP on November 21, 2011,[22] and another project known as: The Evolution of Le’Andria Johnson, on February 14, 2012.[4]

In addition to her second EP, a 14-song album was released also on February 14, 2012 entitled: The Evolution of Le’Andria Johnson Deluxe Edition.[23]

Philanthropy[edit]

Johnson, herself homeless at the time of her audition, did a benefit concert called “Up From the Ashes” at South Church in Lansing Michigan. The original concert date was April 1, 2011, but the concert was ultimately postponed when Johnson found out her cousin had been shot and killed in Orlando Florida.[24] She learned of the news moments before leaving for Michigan. The concert was held on May 6, 2011. Johnson's various life challenges have not deterred her ministry and anointed singing in the Christian community.

Johnson recently started IPC (Imperfect People Changing) Ministries in Atlanta, GA. Their first service was held on June 16, 2012.

Controversy[edit]

Certain aspects of Johnson’s life before, and primarily after, were not seen in a good light in conjunction to her Gospel singing career and role as an inspirational singer. Johnson had expressed in an in-depth interview with the Associated Press [12] that for quite some time after her win she was partying, drinking, and living it up, all while singing the Gospel, which is frowned upon with most gospel singers.[25]

Rumors started to circulate about Johnson as she performed on Celebration of Gospel with a noticeable bulge in her midsection. Johnson began to have doubts and started to receive negative attention after she confirmed that she was pregnant with her fourth child, but out of wedlock,[26][27] and despite this she continues to perform and minister, another thing that is frowned upon for gospel and Christian artists whose music is seen as having strong ties with their religion and its practices.[28][29][30][31]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
US
[32]
US Gospel
[32]
US Indep.
[32]
2011The Awakening of Le'Andria Johnson EP
  • First Extended Play
  • Release date: September 6, 2011
  • Label: Music World Gospel
2413
2011Christmas Best
  • First holiday album
  • Release date: December 22, 2011
  • Label: Music World Gospel
10
2012The Evolution of Le'Andria Johnson EP
  • Second Extended Play
  • Release date: February 14, 2012
  • Label: Music World Gospel
6928
2012The Experience
  • First studio album
  • Release date: September 18, 2012
  • Label: Music World Gospel
120326

Singles[edit]

TitleYearUS Gospel[32]Album
Jesus201115The Awakening of Le'Andria Johnson
It's Gonna Be Alright201225The Evolution of Le'Andria Johnson

Awards[edit]

YearAwardCategoryResult
2011Digital Gospel Music AwardBest Female Gospel ArtistWon
2012Grammy AwardsBest Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance[33][34][35]Won
2013Stellar AwardBest New ArtistWon
2013Stellar AwardBest Contemporary Female VocalistWon

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff, BET (July 4, 2012). "Season 3 winner signs deal". Bet.com. 
  2. ^ "iTunes - Music - Jesus - Single by Le'Andria Johnson". Itunes.apple.com. 2011-08-23. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  3. ^ "Le'Andria Johnson Music News & Info". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  4. ^ a b "iTunes - Music - The Evolution of Le'Andria Johnson by Le'Andria Johnson". Itunes.apple.com. 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  5. ^ "Guest Blogger and Sunday Best winner thanks parents". Bet.com. 
  6. ^ Glenn, Torrence (July 5, 2012). "Le’Andria Johnson Talks Life After Sunday Best and How She Overcame Her Breaking Point". Path Magazine. 
  7. ^ "Le’Andria Johnson Biography". Amazon.com and Grammys. [dead link]
  8. ^ a b c "‘Sunday Best’ winner LeAndria Johnson: ‘Always be positive’ – The TV Guy – Orlando Sentinel". Blogs.orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  9. ^ "Gospel Music News - Path MEGAzine". Pathmagazine.com. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  10. ^ Leggett, Steve (1983-01-23). "Le'Andria Johnson - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  11. ^ "The Awakening of Le’Andria Johnson". Cbn.com. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  12. ^ a b JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr. - Associated Press (2011-10-14). "Gospel stardom a bumpy road for Le'Andria Johnson - Yahoo! News". News.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ March 29, 2012 10:54 AM (2012-03-29). "WATCH: Le'Andria Johnson's Story to Success - BCNN1". Blackchristiannews.com. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  15. ^ a b [2][dead link]
  16. ^ a b June 21, 2010 (2010-06-21). "BET Crowns Leandria Johnson 2010 ‘Sunday Best’ Winner". EURweb. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  17. ^ "LeAndria Johnson Sunday Best pictures, bio, news". Poptower.com. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  18. ^ http://www.eurweb.com/2010/06/bet-crowns-leandria-johnson-2010-sunday-best-winner/ She won a recording contract/
  19. ^ "BET Sunday Best Winner Debuts "The Awakening of Le’Andria Johnson" + Mt. Zion Super Sunday Performance [Video] - The Queen's Castle | The Queen's Castle". Thequeenscastle.net. 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  20. ^ a b "Single Mother LeAndria Johnson Named Winner of 'Sunday Best' 3". Christianpost.com. 2010-06-21. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  21. ^ "She Said: Exclusive Interview With Le’Andria Johnson". GospelPundit.com. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  22. ^ "iTunes - Music - Christmas Best - EP by Le'Andria Johnson". Itunes.apple.com. 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  23. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Awakening of Le'Andria Johnson (Deluxe Edition) by Le'Andria Johnson". Itunes.apple.com. 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  24. ^ "LeAndria Johnson reveals tough year, battle with Alcohol and loosing her brother « BeeSuareZ". Beesuarez.com. 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  25. ^ Thursday (2011-10-27). "Le'Andria Johnson, Twice-Divorced Mom of 3 Confesses Sins, Prepares to Release Christmas EP - EEW Magazine - EEW Magazine". Buzz.eewmagazine.com. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  26. ^ "Alisha L. Gordon, M.Ed.: LeAndria Johnson and the Lessons We Should All Learn". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  27. ^ Posted by K.B. "MySista Gurl: Le'Andria Johnson Confirms Pregnancy". .MySista Gurl. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  28. ^ — 03 April 2012 (2012-04-03). "Le’Andria Johnson Reveals to Philly Crowd That She is Pregnant". ROOTMagazineonline.com. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  29. ^ "Unwed 'Sunday's Best' Singer's Pregnancy Upsets Some Fans | Madame Noire | Black Women's Lifestyle Guide | Black Hair | Black Love". Madame Noire. 2012-04-13. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  30. ^ June 29, 2012 (2012-06-29). "Le’Andria Johnson Still Ministering Despite Out of Wedlock Pregnancy". EURweb. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  31. ^ "Gospel artist Le’Andria Johnson offers up Sunday’s worst «". Exministries.wordpress.com. 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  32. ^ a b c d "allmusic (LeAndria Johnson > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles)". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-10-05. 
  33. ^ Photo: Rick Diamond/WireImage.com. "Le'Andria Johnson". GRAMMY.com. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  34. ^ "54th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees And Winners". GRAMMY.com. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  35. ^ "‘Sunday Best’ Season 3 Winner Le’andria Johnson Wins Her First Grammy Award - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 

External links[edit]