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. Plan your weekend July 28-30: Comic Con, Lady Antebellum, Margarita Wars, Tampa's Fourth Friday


    Plan your weekend

    Geek out

    Tampa Bay Comic Con: The fan convention returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, bringing actors Val Kilmer, Kate Beckinsale, Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Lt. Uhura), Khary Payton (Ezekiel in The Walking Dead) and the …

    Ibri Day poses for a photo at opening day of the 2015 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center. (Friday, July 31, 2015.) [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  2. Editorial: Trump assaults rule of law by attacking attorney general


    Jeff Sessions was a terrible choice for attorney general, and the policies he has pursued in his brief tenure — cracking down on immigrants, bullying sheriffs, prosecuting low-level offenders to the max — are counterproductive. But the stinging personal attacks President Donald Trump leveled at Sessions this …

    The stinging personal attacks President Donald Trump leveled at Attorney General Jess Sessions this week assault the integrity of the Department of Justice and the rule of law.
  3. Iowa group sues United over death of giant rabbit, Simon


    DES MOINES, Iowa — A group of Iowa businessmen filed a lawsuit Wednesday against United Airlines over the death of Simon, a giant rabbit whose lifeless body was discovered in a kennel after a flight from London to Chicago.

    In this May 8, 2017 file photo, attorney Guy Cook speaks a news conference while looking at a photo of Simon, a giant rabbit that died after flying from the United Kingdom to Chicago, in Des Moines, Iowa. A group of Iowa businessmen have filed a lawsuit against United Airlines over the death of Simon. The businessmen filed the lawsuit Wednesday, July 26, 2017, more than three months after airline workers found the continental rabbit named Simon dead. [AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall]
  4. Elderly Brooksville woman dies in Wednesday crash


    BROOKSVILLE — An 87-year-old woman died following a Wednesday morning car crash, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  5. As Dow hits new high, Raymond James Financial reports record financial gains


    On the same day that the Dow closed at new highs, investment firm Raymond James Financial reported record revenues and earnings for its fiscal third quarter that ended June 30.

    Raymond James Financial CEO Paul Reilly unveiled record quarterly revenues and earnings for the St. Petersburg-based investment firm. [Courtesy of Raymond James Financial]