WATCH: Le'Andria Johnson's Story to Success

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A DREAM REALIZED
Le'Andria is an accomplished songwriter, producer and praise and worship leader at her hometown church, HQ Ministries in Altamonte Springs, Florida.

A self-taught musician, she began singing at the age of two in her father's church. Yet it wasn't until she was a teenager that she realized that she might be able to sing for a living. While she served as praise and worship leader for her father's church, her big break came at age seventeen, when she sang in front of an audience of 8,000 at Pastor Shirley Caesar's annual conference. "That was my first big platform, and I was shocked at the positive response by the people," Johnson recalled.

However, Johnson found it difficult to ignite her dream of becoming a gospel music artist. She saved money to enter the studio and record, but in the end had little to show for it except more frustration.  Then a friend urged her to audition for BET's gospel singing competition Sunday Best.

SUNDAY BEST
Le'Andria was a single mother of three, twice divorced, and struggling to financially stay afloat. The day before auditioning for the show, Le'Andria lost her home in foreclosure. Friends and family helped her finance her trip for the show. She left Orlando for the competition in New Orleans with the clothes on her back. She says what motivated her to go to the audition were her kids. "I knew I wanted better. I figured I would try out and see where I go from there," says Le'Andria. She knew if things went well at the audition, it could mean a better life for her and her kids. In flip flops and gym socks, she auditioned for the competition and was almost eliminated because she did not look the part, according to show judge Erica Campbell [Mary Mary]. After her soulful performance of "This Is the Day the Lord Hath Made," she was selected to be a contestant. "I came here and I gave it my all,"  says Le'Andria.

In June 2010 Le'Andria was crowned the Sunday Best winner, with over 2 million votes, a placing that not only came with the gift of a new car and a cash prize, but also a recording deal. Each week she wowed viewers and captured the hearts of millions, including Sunday Best's host Kirk Franklin, judges, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, and Yolanda Adams and celebrity mentor Kim Burrell. For the finale, she performed a medley of three songs, "I Love the Lord," "He Was There," and "In the Midst of It All." 

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SOURCE: The 700 Club
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