Thursday, June 05, 2008

Toya Alexis

Toya Alexis is a Canadian R&B vocalist from the Greater Toronto Area. She won a "Rising Star" contest and sang at the Apollo theatre. She first came into the Canadian consciousness as a contestant on the first season of Popstars, a popular show that played on Global, and also had an American version on the WB. She did not win, but was featured on the debut album of the winners, who were dubbed Sugar Jones.

She next was seen as a contestant on the first season of Canadian Idol in 2003, reaching sixth place in a controversial decision as she was widely considered the best singer of the six. While on the show, she could be seen on several occasions executing notes in the whistle register reminiscent of those of Mariah Carey. Paralleling the controversy on American Idol, the week Toya was voted off, she and the only other African-Canadian were included in the bottom three, which sparked talk of racially charged voting{{fact}. She was subsequently offered a recording contract, and released her first single, the Top 40 hit "Am I Loving?", in 2004. She also appeared as a guest vocalist on recordings by several other Canadian artists. Her full-length debut album, S.O.B. Story, was released in August on Canadian Idol judge Farley Flex's label, Plasma. To date, S.O.B. Story has sold 159,000 copies, making Canadian platinum. She began touring with Esthero, a popular Canadian trip-hop artist, and was showcased with Esthero on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show in the United States. In 2005, she was a featured cast member as "Mabel" in the Canstage show Crowns, at the Bluma Appel Theatre in Toronto.

Her other stage credits have included Doo Wop to Motown (Theatre on the Grand), Once on This Island (Stirling Festival Theatre), Rainbow World (Bathurst Street Theatre), The Good Times Are Killing Me (Royal Alex Theatre) and Dreamgirls (Co-production between Theatre Aquarius and the Manitoba Theatre Centre).

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