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LaShell Griffin - From Housewife To Celebrity

sing music life choir

Lashell Griffin was born in 1967 and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Even as a young child she knew that music would be an important part of her life. She learned to sing from her grandmother, who was an influential person in Griffin's life until her death in 2003. At the age of nine Griffin yearned to sing in her church's choir, and when she finally reached the required age of 13, she eagerly joined the choir and regularly performed solos. Despite her obvious vocal talent and the positive response from the congregation, Griffin was frightfully shy about performing in front of people. "I started off holding my head down when I sang," she wrote on her official Web site. "Then I started looking at the ceiling, then the clock on the wall in front of me. Finally, I just started singing with my eyes closed so I could tune out everything and everyone and just deliver."

By her early thirties, Griffin's love of music was sharing the stage in her busy life as a stay-at-home mother to five children. At the age of 18, Griffin had married Lee Griffin, also a talented singer, and set up house in Detroit, where they began raising their children, Levotis, Raphael, LeSahe, Nathan, and Briana. Music is a family affair as all the Griffin children sing, and Levotis, the oldest, began studying music at Michigan State University in 2004. Despite her many family responsibilities, Griffin, encouraged by her husband, continued to sing in the church choir, and her beautiful solos garnered numerous requests for her to perform at weddings. In fact, Griffin became such a popular wedding singer that she was often performing at two or three weddings each weekend, and her pastor had to be enlisted to help manage her scheduling.

In the fall of 2003 Griffin's hectic life was necessarily slowed down after she broke her foot, which required surgery. While watching television during her recovery, Griffin happened to catch The Oprah Winfrey Show during which Winfrey called on the audience to send in tapes to enter the first-ever The Oprah Winfrey Pop Star Challenge. Griffin wrote down the information but then waited a couple of weeks before mentioning the idea to her husband. "I had been down for at least four weeks from the surgery and I realized that it was a lot on him with work and taking care of the home," she told the Gospel City Web site. "I said I really, really want to do this and I decided to share it with him and he said 'Go for it.' I was blown away by that response because I would have understood if he said it wasn't the season for it, just take care of your foot and let's see what happens after that."

LaShell Griffin - The Pop Star Challenge [next]

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