Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Local McDonald's manager hopes singing contest propels her to stardom

SPRING HILL — If you stop in at the McDonald's restaurant in the Suncoast Crossing shopping plaza on Spring Hill Drive some morning, you're likely to come across assistant manager Lakeyra Langley behind the counter.

She's the one with the ponytail and everlasting smile who bounces with every step as she fills customers' orders.

But while the 24-year-old enjoys her job, she doesn't hide the fact that she wants folks to someday be able to say they "knew her when." That's because Langley is one of 25 U.S. semifinalists vying for the $25,000 top prize in the worldwide Voice of McDonald's employee singing contest.

Langley, who is known by her friends and co-workers as "Jay," competed against more than 700 contestants in Florida to win the honor. She believes she has an excellent shot at making it to the competition finals, which will be in Orlando in April.

"I've loved music all my life," said the Brooksville native, who grew up singing with her younger sisters in church and in local talent shows. "I put everything I have into it because it's my dream. I really think it could come true."

Restaurant owner Josh David said he's 100 percent behind Langley's quest — not just because she's at top-notch employee, but because he believes she has the talent and diligence to wow the music world. That's why he encouraged her to enter the competition.

"Not only does she have a wonderful voice, she has such tremendous confidence in herself," David said. "Just entering a contest like this shows how much she believes in herself. It takes courage and commitment, and Jay has shown everyone that she can do that and do it well."

The Voice Of McDonald's competition has been around since 2006 and is open to the approximately 1.8 million franchise employees around the globe. Langley, who has worked at the Suncoast Crossings restaurant for three years, said she auditioned singing Natalie Cole's This Will Be an Everlasting Love live to a judging panel via a video link. A few weeks later, she arrived at work to find her boss had decided to surprise her with the news of her selection as a semifinalist by decking out the restaurant in flowers and decorations.

"It was such a great feeling to know that people are behind me," Langley said. "So I've tried to keep that spark alive ever since."

However, Langley's journey toward possible stardom has only just begun. Between now and Dec. 2, she needs to lobby as many people as possible to cast a vote on her behalf through the contest website at Because online voting makes up 50 percent of a contestant's total score, that's a pretty tall order for someone competing against contestants in much larger markets such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Between now and then, David, who oversees several McDonald's in Hernando County, said he will be handing out cards encouraging customers to cast a vote for his employee. And, of course, Langley said she is committed to doing her part to drum up interest.

"I'll sing anywhere anyone wants me," she said with a laugh. "And I'll be telling them, 'Go on the website and vote for me, and keep voting for me. Vote for me when you go on Facebook. Vote for me when you email your friends. Just keep voting.' "

Logan Neill can be reached at or (352) 848-1435.

To vote for Lakeyra Langley in the Voice Of McDonald's contest, visit Voting is open to everyone.

Local McDonald's manager hopes singing contest propels her to stardom 11/01/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 1, 2013 6:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. What to watch this weekend: 'Star Trek: Discovery,' 'DuckTales' returns


    Boldly go: Star Trek: Discovery

    It's been more than 50 years since the original Star Trek premiered, but the new CBS series is set 10 years before Kirk and Spock. Star Trek: Discovery explores the war between the Federation and the Klingons while following the USS Discovery, an exploratory …

    Sonequa Martin-Green in Star Trek: Discovery on CBS.
  2. First lady Melania Trump heads to White House garden for planting, harvesting


    WASHINGTON — Melania Trump is heading out to the White House garden to do some planting and harvesting.

    First lady Melania Trump picks peppers with a girl with the Boys and Girls Club of Washington in the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Washington. [Andrew Harnik | Associated Press]
  3. New aerial photos show Puerto Rico devastation; at least 6 dead in Hurricane Maria aftermath


    SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO — Early aerial images of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria here show waterlogged neighborhoods, roofs peeled off homes and shopping centers, and once-lush landscape …

    Aerial photo of flooding in the costal town of Loiza, on the north shore of Puerto Rico. [Photo by Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for the Washington Post]
  4. State rolls out food assistance program for residents affected by Hurricane Irma


    Help is on the way for Florida residents struggling to put food on the table after Hurricane Irma.

    The Salvation Army Mobile Food Pantry hlped out with free food in Largo after Hurricane Irma. Now, the federal government is expanding access to food for people affected by the storm. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  5. Kriseman proclaims Buy Local week in St. Pete to quicken storm recovery


    Mayor Rick Kriseman has proclaimed next week to be "'Burg Buy Local Week" in an appeal to residents to help small businesses struggling to recover from Hurricane Irma.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman wants St. Pete residents to help small businesses recover from Hurricane Irma