She may be young but when she sings you hear the depth of a singer who is more mature than her 26 years of age. Experience and talent is what the American Idol judges saw when she hit the stage. Although chosen amongst thousands of her peers, Ashton’s dream was cut short when she was eliminated. However dreams deferred did not stop Ashton from pushing forward. Ashton Jones tells us about her journey so far and why she Got Next!
If you had asked Ashton Jones what do the numbers 8838 mean to you she would have probably looked at you were like you were crazy and give you a simple “I don’t know” . But little did she know that in 2010 all that would change. One day while at work Ashton received a phone call from her mom saying that American Idol was in their hometown of Nashville holding auditions. Working as a manager at a shoe store Ashton told her mother that she could not leave work. Her mom, known as Ms. Michelle to everyone, insisted to Ashton that this was her time and that she needed to go! Moved by her mother’s encouragement, Ashton explained to her boss that she had to leave because singing was what she always wanted to do. Her boss replied saying that she wouldn’t go if she were in Ashton’s shoes because she wasn’t guaranteed to get picked by the judges. This ignited the fire in the then upcoming artist and she made the decision to leave her job to follow her dream.
Alone and nervous, Ashton went and auditioned before the American Idol producers. She received three call backs before she made it in front of Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. She solidified her place on the American Idol Stage and in Hollywood sang the famous Dreamgirls track “And I’m Telling You!” It was then that her fans fell in love with her. Her dream although now a reality still felt like a fantasy and Ashton was on cloud nine. Unfortunately, the lights dimmed, but only for a moment when elimination night came and Ashton’s name was called. Devastated, she held on to the words of Jennifer Lopez who advised her to continue singing letting her know that she was her favorite and believed in her gift. When Ashton returned to Nashville she was greeted by a group of fans and to the support of her family. The journey did not stop at the elimination rounds but was just beginning. However just as Ashton was about to head back to Hollywood for the finalists performance on American Idol, she received shocking that her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. This news shook Ashton and she was convinced to leave Hollywood behind and stay with her single mother and 4 siblings. Her mother on the other hand had other plans and pushed Ashton to go letting her know that nothing would make her more proud than having her go back to Hollywood. Ashton reluctantly agreed as her mother started on her road to recovery.
Since then, Ashton has been on numerous interviews, traveling and performing on multiple stages all with a light heart still having her mother as her number one supporter. This year, Ashton also went back to her gospel roots by teaming up with top of the charts gospel artist Lecrae on his single Mayday. She is also working her own album titled Goodbye Genre set to debut later on this year. Refused to be put in a box, Ashton’s album reflects her style. “I want to be an inspiration in my music. I don’t want to be one genre. I want to be able to step out the box and tell my story without people putting a label on me” Mary J. Blige is one of the artists that has inspired Ashton in her career. Like, Mary she has been through many ups and downs. She was a runaway teen and got mixed up in the wrong crowd. Mary’s life was a testament to her that if she put her heart in a dream it would eventually happen.
Every artist needs a super producer and Ashton has found that in her producer Bar-None who has been with her from the very beginning of her career. She credits him with a lot of the creativity on the album. They co-wrote her first single from her new album, “Lookout” which is now available on ITunes.
Although Ashton is fulfilling her dream, she believes that her true calling is to tell other’s about Jesus Christ. “I want to let others know that what He did for me He can do the same for them. She believes that as artists there is responsibility to step up and be role models to their fans.
Ashton Jones sums her reason as to why she Got Next all in word; Inspiration. From the way it looks, Ashton will be inspiring others for a long time to come.