Smoother crooning Southerner. Soulful. “Mantasia.” Down to Earth. These are just a few ways to describe international singer and pop-star, Joshua Ledet. The three-time American Idol candidate and eventual finalist shared with the Sentinel what inspired him to preserve, performing at the White House, and leaving his small town of blank in blank for life in the entertainment industry.
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Ledet, who is originally from, Westlake, Louisiana, says he was devastated and went into a deep depression after the first and second times trying out for American Idol and being eliminated. Ledet says that it was his prayer to God just before contemplating his third opportunity that changed his life for good. “I prayed and said, God, if You want me to do this show, wake me up at 4 o’clock a.m., and if I wake up at 4 o’clock a.m. imma’ go,” Ledet said, who would have to drive two hours to make the audition by six in the morning. “I literally woke up at 4 o’clock am,” Ledet said recollecting on his perseverance. This time around, Ledet would end up as a 3rd place finalist, with fans across the world and windows of opportunity he couldn’t yet imagine.
Speaking of which, Ledet went on to experience a rare, and quite random encounter with First Lady Michelle Obama. At one moment, he was in a break room waiting for the Regis & Kelly show to commence, and in the next, security guards with search dogs came into his room to check the parameters, when the First Lady of the U.S. walks in and says “Hi Joshua, how are you?”
Perplexed to say the least, with no inkling that the First Lady was in the building, Ledet told Mrs. Obama, “when Obama gets re-elected, I want to sing at the White House.” “She said, I’ll make that happen, and she actually kept her word,” Ledet continued. His grand opportunity finally came in 2013, when Ledet performed for the Obamas alongside Justin Timberlake, Booker T. Jones, Queen Latifah and others for PBS’ Memphis Soul special.
The Sentinel also inquired about Ledet’s massive Indonesian fan base. The singer shared that while still on the 11th season of American Idol, he noticed that a handful of fans from the country would tweet him. Ledet decided to explore this arena, eventually being invited to headline the Java Jazz Festival, where a nominal crowd of about 300 people gathered. “By the end of my set I had grew about 12,000, 13,000 people that lined up and started watching my show. And so after that night, it just took off from there,” Ledet said.
Ledet says his most recent single, “Trust Me I Lie”, written by Diane Warren, is one of his favorite songs. “When you get in a relationship, you fuss and fight and say things like, I hate you or I don’t want to be with you anymore, the song is saying trust me I lie, because I really do want to be with you, I really do love you,” Ledet explained.
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When asked what we can expect from Ledet for the remainder of the year, he said that he’s scheduled to do more concerts in Indonesia, and will be touring London and Germany as well, to explore the European market. “I think everyone has this image painted of what they think my album is going to sound like or what my image is going to look like, but I think they are going to be really shocked over this year, because I think it’s completely different from what they’re thinking” Ledet declared.