Last night, Joshua Ledet graced Vibrato Grill and Jazz with a mind-blowing performance and powerfully sonorous vocals. (Watch it here!) This 24-years old singer and songwriter performed James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," his original track "City Fall," among many others.
Born in the small suburban city of Westlake, Louisiana, Ledet has been passionate about singing from a young age, and grew up performing and singing in his family church. Soul, Gospel, and R&B became his favorite music, with some of his most important musical influences being Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder. In 2012, he came in third place at the eleventh season of American Idol, with 90 million votes.
Although he had no formal singing training, he has been noted by music critics as one of the best singers of the last four seasons of American Idol. His duet of George Michael and Aretha Franklin's "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" with fellow contestant Jessica Sanchez (Watch it here) was so breathtaking that they did not only earn a standing ovation from all three judges, but also received a high praise from Randy Jackson, who declared them to be "Two of the greatest singers to ever hit this competition ... This is one of the greatest performances I have seen on this show."
Ledet actually auditioned for the tenth season of American Idol, but was so dejected after being eliminated at the audition stage that he was sure he would never audition for another show again. But this did not stop his passion for singing and music. When he went home he kept watching performances by other artists on YouTube, as well as re-watching the performances the judges disliked, to learn what he should avoid doing. Next year, he brought every little bit that he learned to the stage at the eleventh season of American Idol.
In his interview with @hollywood, Ledet admitted that he was holding back a lot on stage in American Idol, and that his downfall was probably letting people influence him too much instead of standing his ground and being his own person. Post American Idol, he is now free to work on his own music and develop his unique style as an independent artist, something we can definitely see in his original song "Here to Die," which was released in 2013. This track exudes a "fiery, from-the-gut" sensation that is absent from his American Idol days, and was so exceptional it prompted Lyndsey Parker, one of the Rolling Stone writers, to comment, "This song needs to get a commercial release. And when it does, I'll give whatever label that puts it out a standing ovation."
Ledet has also performed at the White House for President Obama in 2013, as part of the "Salute to Memphis Soul" special. His rendition of Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves A Woman" is simply mind-blowing, judging on the thrilled expression on both Barack and Michelle Obama's faces, and will definitely give you the chills. Watch the performance here.