Jade Lathan walked into the American Idol audition room in Detroit with a band of flowers in her hair and a big smile.
She left smiling, too, after impressing the judges with a rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good.”
Harry Connick Jr. called her adorable, and complimented her on “doing some things I didn’t expect” vocally.
Added Jennifer: “The whole package is right.”
Well, the 20-year-old student from Monroe, Mich., has been working on her musical talent for a good while.
According to her Facebook page, she started singing in church when she was 6.
She has performed with a Detroit-based band called Lord Scrummage. And, as Mary Jade, she has released original material on bandcamp.com — a 6-track EP called “On This Road” in 2012 and a single called “Into the Mix” in June.
On Facebook, Jade lists her genre as “outside the box” and in her Road to Hollywood video, she says she enjoys a wide variety of music.
“I can see myself as a cross between Gwen Stefani and Erykah Badu,” says Jade, with a big laugh. She says she loves Gwen Stefani’s style and the fact that she started out in the band; she admires Erykah Badu “because she’s so soulful and she’s stayed true to herself no matter what.”
Jade says she’s hoping her style — she makes her own accessories — and her voice set her apart on Idol.
“A lot of people say I sound original,” she says, “usually because of that little crackly thing I do with my voice that J-Lo brought up (in the audition).”
I’ve embedded a couple of videos of her performing below. You can check out more on her YouTube channel.
For profiles of more than 90 other Season 13 contestants, head here.
“I Care” (Beyonce cover)
“Hey Soul Sister” (Train cover)