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After a highly successful label debut (one of Sparrow Records’ fastest-selling new artists ever) with “True Beauty,” and her first Christmas EP , American Idol’s own MANDISA is celebrating her first GRAMMY nomination and hit the road last week on the Winter Jam tour, performing before over 35,000 people in the first four shows alone. She will trek across the U.S. through mid-March .

As one of just three idol alums to be nominated for a GRAMMY, Mandisa had this to say about her nomination: “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my debut cd would garner a Grammy nomination. I have all of the cds nominated in the same category as I, and absolutely love each of them. To be considered in the same crowd is very humbling for me. I know we hear it all the time, but it truly IS an honor just to be nominated.”

About traveling across the country on the Winter Jam tour, she says, “I am having the time of my life with the fun variety of artists out on the WinterJam Tour! The arenas have been packed each night and thousands of people have begun a relationship with Jesus. More than any awards, chart positions, or cds sold, it is my new brothers and sisters in Christ that assures me that I am exactly where I should be and doing exactly what I should be doing!”

Following the no. 1 Single on Billboard’s Hot Single Sales chart, appearances on The Today Show, Live! With Regis & Kelly, The Tom Joyner Show, countless radio and retail visits, and ringing in the holiday Season for the New York Stock Exchange Christmas Tree lighting, vocal powerhouse Mandisa’s debut CD, “True Beauty,” entered at No. 1 on Soundscan’s Christian/Gospel and itunes Christian/Gospel charts, continuing to prove that you don’t have to win American Idol to be a winner. This Idol alum’s chart entry also marked the first debut album by a female solo artist to open at No. 1 since this chart converted to Nielsen SoundScan back in 1995, as well as making Mandisa the only female solo artist to land at No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums chart with a debut album in the 27 years since Billboard began tracking Christian album sales in March 1980.

Mandisa shot to instant fame when millions of TV viewers across the nation were captivated by her winning smile and powerhouse vocals as she sang her way into the final rounds of “American Idol’s” fifth season. Showcasing Mandisa’s stylistic range was the task set before the five sets of producers who lined up to work with her on her debut, “True Beauty.” The end result is a seamless flow of tracks that create a diverse landscape for messages of hope, inspiration and faith. “Only the World” is the album’s funky, energetic first single, and has spent five consecutive weeks on Billboard’s Top Single Sales chart.

Mandisa’s desire to live free of society’s expectations sits at the heart of the messages interwoven throughout True Beauty. Issues of self-esteem and self-worth are front-and-center among those that most young women struggle with today, and Mandisa admits she is no different. “More than just a career, I really want to have a ministry that has an impact on people. I just want to follow through with what is in my heart. I never want to look back and wonder, ‘What would have happened if….’”

Author: Mandisa

Date: 28 January 2008

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