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Rising R&B star Chrisette Michele talks about getting rejected on 'American Idol'

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Chrisette Michele Payne isn’t quite yet a household name. But the fact that the singer has dropped her surname professionally is a good start.

Chrisette Michele got her break in 2005 when India.Arie discovered her at an open mic. Soon, Michele was recording hooks for Jay-Z and Kanye West. Critics dubbed her the “soulful songbird,” comparing her jazzy voice to Billie Holiday. Michele’s debut album, I Am, included Grammy-winning Be OK featuring will.i.am and the abstinence anthem If I Have My Way. Her sophomore effort, Epiphany, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard and features a smooth, catchy title track. Last summer, Michele toured with R&B heartthrob Maxwell, winning over more fans each night.

LISTEN - Chrisette Michele, 'Playin' Our Song'

On Sunday, she performs at 7 p.m. at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts alongside Laura Izibor and Lem Payne. Tickets start at $32.50. Click here for details.

While on the road, Michele took some time out to chat with tbt* about Maxwell, her pursuit of a college degree and, most surprisingly, her failed American Idol audition:

So many people your age try out for American Idol when they want to be a professional singer. Did you ever think about going that route?
Oh, I did. I parked outside on the street in New York City with a friend of mine, and we tried out for American Idol. It must’ve been 2001. They told us, “Thank you very much,” and then I didn’t speak to anybody for an entire day and moved on with the rest of my life.

Click here for Dalia Colon's full interview with Chrisette Michele.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:17pm]

    

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