NASHVILLE, TN….2/12/09…..GRAMMY® nominee and American Idol finalist MANDISA is speaking truth and encouragement to women worldwide about the freedom she has experienced through her faith and incredible 70+lb weight loss in her upcoming sophomore release, FREEDOM, bowing on March 24th.
FREEDOM is the follow-up to Mandisa’s 2007 debut, TRUE BEAUTY, an album that created history by becoming the highest chart entry and the best-selling debut artist in the life of her label, Sparrow Records. It also became the only female debut to hit No. 1 in the 27-year history of Billboard’s Christian Retail Chart, received a GRAMMY® nomination for “Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album, and her debut single “Only the World,” hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot Single Sales chart.
Mandisa’s musical journey began when she became a top 9 finalist on “American Idol’s” fifth season. It was during the first few months of 2006 that she became a household name and garnered a multitude of fans with her powerful voice and contagious smile.
Since American Idol, and her debut CD and book, “Idol Eyes: My Perspective on Faith, Fat and Fame,” Mandisa has realized how much that experience and everything she learned from it has given her a platform to reach out to others through her music. It became a major part of the songs she recorded for True Beauty, but she has moved into an even deeper understanding of who she is now and what she wants to communicate through the new collection of songs she recorded for FREEDOM.
“These songs are true to me; they’re songs I identify with,” says Mandisa about FREEDOM. “I can’t wait to start singing them because they reflect my story – the things I’ve been through, and the things I’m still going through now. Each one means something special to me.”
As much as American Idol was certainly the launch of a promising new musical career, it also represented another turning point. When “Idol” judge Simon Cowell made negative comments about her weight on national television, it was a shock to Mandisa and to many of the millions who were cheering her on. She admits now, as she has discussed at length in her book, that those hurtful words cut deeply, causing a lot of immediate pain and embarrassment.
“My struggle with weight has been the biggest struggle of my life and it began as a very young girl,” she says. “One day at a time, on a very difficult journey, I am being set free from what I call is a food addiction. As I speak, I have lost 70 pounds. But, I have to say, it is about more than eating, and more than exercising. Of course those things have to be a part of this, but it is truly what my first single says: it is because my Deliverer has set me free from all that has held me captive and I just believe that this is, again, it’s going to be a lifelong journey for me but as long as one day at a time I am getting closer and closer to being set free that’s all that I can ask for and I believe that that’s happening.”
The jubilant first single, “My Deliverer,” really is perfect example of the empowering message that builds the foundation of the entire album. With its buoyant pop/funk track backing her up, Mandisa sings with a carefree confidence about feeling more alive than ever, and it’s already clear the song is resonating with listeners, already NO. 22 on R&R’s AC Indicator chart.
Producers Brown Bannister and Christopher Stevens expertly guided these songs between styles while staying true to Mandisa’s own personality and character. They were able to extract a range of some of the most powerful and poignant performances from this artist to date, including “He is With You,” which re-teamed her with writer Ronnie Freeman, and is one of Mandisa’s personal favorites on the album because she believes it hits every single situation anyone could imagine.
Tonight, Thursday, February 12th, Mandisa will be a part of what is being called the largest gathering of American Idol Winners and finalists to date as they join together to celebrate the opening of Walt Disney World’s newest attraction, The American Idol Experience. Among those confirmed to attend are Ryan Seacrest, Fantasia, Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, Carrie Underwood, David Cook, Justin Guarini, David Archuleta, Brooke White, Melinda Doolittle, Ace Young, Bucky Covington, Chris Sligh, Josh Gracin, Diana DeGarmo and many more. The evening will culminate with a concert featuring Underwood and Cook.
Designed to reflect the best and brightest elements of the TV show, Disney Imagineers and American Idol have partnered to re-create the American Idol television stage at Walt Disney World in Florida. The show at Walt Disney World is an exciting and fun-filled experience where guests who have completed an audition process perform live-on-stage and the guests in the audience vote, resulting in one guest EVERY DAY who wins a "Dream Ticket" - which is redeemable to bypass the lines at any American Idol audition and proceed directly to the producers. It is quite an experience! For more information on this attraction, go to http://www.wdwnews.com .
In addition to the Disney experience, Mandisa will be a part of Disney’s annual Dreamers Academy this Friday, February 13th, where she will perform for the 100 Dreamers selected by radio host Steve Harvey and his panel of judges . The dreamers were nominated and endorsed by friends, parents, guardians, church members, people who can recognize extra special qualities and the power to dream when they see it.
Also throughout this year, Mandisa will join the very popular Women of Faith events across the country, encouraging and entertaining women of all ages.
For more information on Mandisa, FREEDOM and more, go to http://www.mandisaofficial.com
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