Ashthon Jones has done what most young singers these days dream of doing – competing on the FOX reality TV show, American Idol. Jones did not win, but finished as the 13th place finalist. As extraordinary of an achievement as that is, that’s just a piece of a story that Ashthon considers her testimony.

 

Shortly after her birth in Joplin, MO, Ashthon’s mother and husband at the time relocated to Valdosta, GA. There they lived until Ashthon turned 12, then moved on Goodlettsville, TN. Ashthon began singing publicly, as many singers do, in the church at the age of six, listening and emulating gospel greats such as Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, and The Clark Sisters. All the while gaining the confidence and artistic prowess needed to be a top-notch performer. 


Even with the influences of a musical family and the love of the church, Ashthon ran away from home at the age of 15 and remained estranged from her family for three years before returning to Valdosta.  There she decided to try and get her life together by going back to school and possibly joining the military.


However, her life took an unexpected turn when she a music producer. Working with this producer, she successfully achieved her first published work at the age of 19. 



Big Things Poppin’


Since competing on American Idol, Ashthon’s drive for musical greatness for hasn’t waivered one bit.  She has done several TV interviews, from Regis and Kelly, Entertainment Tonight and MTV News.  Currently, Ashthon is in Atlanta recording her CD, alongside some very talented writers and producers such as Big KRIT, Track Bangas (Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz) and Craig A. King (Kanye West, Ludacris, B.o.B., Aaliyah).


She was featured on Christian Hip-hop artist Lecrae’s song and video, “Mayday”.  This song is part of Lecrae’s album, “Gravity” which went on to win Best Gospel Album of the Year for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards this year. 


She was also featured on Big Krit's single "Good Together" on his newly released mixtape, “King Remembered In Time”. 



American Idol


While working on her music, Ashthon took a job working as a manager of a shoe store in Nashville, TN for extra cash.  One fateful day, Ashthon’s mother called to tell her that American Idol was holding auditions in Nashville and this was her shot. Her boss was reluctant to let her take the day off assuming she wouldn’t win American Idol. But taking her mother’s advice to heart, Ashthon quit that day to pursue her dreams.


Ashthon was number 8838 (out of 16000 people that tried out) ultimately snagging a spot in front to American Idol judges, Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, and Jennifer Lopez. There the judges unanimously voted to advance her forward to Hollywood. After advancing to 13th place in the finals, Ashthon was ultimately voted off. 

Just recently she recorded the song, “Good Living” on the new "Partnership For A Healthy American" compilation CD.  The Partnership for A Healthier America is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis.  Supporting this effort is First Lady Michelle Obama, alongside William H. Frist, MD, Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark, NJ and Dr. Oz. This CD also features Jordin Sparks, Doug E. Fresh, Ashanti and many others. Release date is set for September 2013.


Ashthon loves to share her testimony with all who will listen, especially young women.  I asked her what she tells young people who are going through hard times. She says she makes a point to let them know to be honest with themselves, learn from their parents and mentors. Most of all love themselves and trust in their faith in God.


By Lisa Lee