HOMETOWN: Long Beach, Calif.
INFLUENCES: Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder
ALBUM: J’Chelle, TBA
WEBSITE: jchelle.com

J’Chelle was preparing to enter law school when her life took a dramatic turn—she auditioned for America’s Got Talent. While the singer-songwriter born J’Chelle Magbitang, only made it to the week three semifinals, she became a background vocalist on American Idol, supporting acts like Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan and Mariah Carey, who encouraged J’Chelle to dream big: “Mariah told me, ‘Don’t give up. I was once a background singer too!’” Those words set J’Chelle on the path to recording her debut album of self-penned urban pop-rock songs, to be released this year. “I live what I love,” she says. “Every second of every day goes toward making music. It’s not money or fame that pushes me to work hard.” J’Chelle, 30, has also created an artist development program to teach aspiring musicians skills to help them compete in the business. “I hope to inspire and empower others the way music has inspired and empowered me,” she says.

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