Money to sing for the money

Published 9:11 pm Thursday, February 11, 2010

LaShea Money has a quick and bright smile that masks her quiet, shy demeanor.

But, when she steps to the microphone, all of the shyness slips away and Money is right at home in the spotlight.

“I love to sing. I always have,” Money said. “I’ve been singing since I was five years old and singing as a career is my dream.”

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And, Money is edging closer and closer to that dream.

She is one of 97 semi-finalists in the “Sing Your Way to 100K” contest sponsored by PCI Gaming, the operational division of three Alabama tribal casinos.

Money competed for a semi-finalist spot in January at the Riverside Casino and Resort in Wetumpka with about 500 others who were hoping to sing their way to 100K.

“I was nervous but it was exciting and a lot of fun,” Money said. “I had to sing four songs. I sang, ‘Summertime’ from ‘Porgy and Bess,’ Whitney Houston’s ‘I Believe in You and Me,’ Mary J Blige’s ‘I’m Goin’ Down’ and ‘Precious Lord, Take My Hand.’

Money will sing the Houston and Blige songs in the semi-final competition along with another Houston favorite, “I’m Every Woman.”

The competition highlights R&B and Pop music and, although Money has a classical voice, that’s all right with her.

“I can sing all genres of music,” she said. “I first started singing in church and I love gospel music. When I was in high school at Charles Henderson High School, I organized an R&B and gospel group called Ladies First.”

Years later, when Money lost a child, she found comfort and hope in gospel music.

“When I attended Troy University, I sang with the Gospel Singers, the opera ensemble and the Collegiate Singers,” she said. “That’s when I learned that I had a classical voice. So, for me, R&B and Pop is kind of stepping out. But I just love to sing. No matter what kind of music it is. Singing is a blessing.”

Money’s hopes are that she will be “blessed enough” to advance to the finals of the “Sing Your Way to 100K” contest, in which the winner takes home 100 Grand.

“The money would be nice,” the Troy resident said. But, more than that, it would be the “doors of opportunity” that would be opened to her.

“My dream is to be a professional singer and the winner will have opportunities for contracts,” she said. “I especially like gospel music but it really doesn’t matter just as long as I can sing.”