These are just some of the accolades bestowed upon R&B singing sensation, LaShell Griffin, from judges for the Oprah Winfrey Pop Star Challenge. Griffin won that nationally televised contest and it jumpstarted a career that has taken her around the world, on to Good Morning America, Soul Train, the Christian Broadcasting Network’s The 700 Club and Entertainment Tonight, and given her a Top 3 Billboard Gospel hit and a Top 40 Billboard R&B hit. She has performed with Earth, Wind and Fire, Anita Baker, Brian McKnight, BabyFace, Mary Mary and Fantasia, and now, she is about to release her sophomore effort, Dreams Are Possible, in April of 2009.
The title is more then just the name of her new CD; the words represent a philosophy she lives by. Whether talking about her close-knit family or her career, it has all been a dream come true. LaShell is a Detroit-based wife and mother of five, not a likely candidate for a national music career. But LaShell’s success began with a dream shared by her husband-manager, Lee Griffin, and their five children, who range in age from 14-22. All of them are writers, poets, producers or musicians and LaShell’s career is truly a family affair. Her two eldest sons contributed material to this album. The song “This 2 Shall Pass,” was written by 22-year-old son, Lee Griffin III, and “Everyday,” was written by 21-year-old Rafiel. Both boys sing background on the tracks. Husband Lee II also writes and contributed the soaring title cut, which showcases LaShell’s deep timbre vocals as she encourages listeners to believe in themselves and their dreams, proclaiming, “Fight, fight against everything and everyone who says that you can’t win/You deserve the best, there’s a champion inside you waiting to stand tall.” LaShell says of the song ” It’s one of my favorites because I feel like it can reach everyone’s heart. No matter their age, religion or race as long as you have the desire to dream, you can make it happen!”
When the opportunity arose for her to sing for then-Senator Barack Obama during several of his campaign stops across Michigan, LaShell was prepared to get onstage and give the dream performance of a lifetime.
“My audience used to be tomatoes and cucumbers in my kitchen as I amused myself singing to them,” LaShell admits of her budding career. “Then, suddenly, my audience became Oprah and her audience and then President-Elect Obama! It is staggering! I’m hearing more positive then negative and I couldn’t be more excited.”