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American Dreamer

by Virginia Chamlee on 2015-07-31 in People

As a child growing up in Jacksonville, Tyanna Jones was more concerned with having a roof over her head than going on a nationwide concert tour. “My family has been through tough situations,” says Jones, who managed to make it past homelessness and financial struggles before heading to Hollywood as one of the top five of American Idol’s fourteenth season. Despite not taking home the crown (she was eliminated in late April 2015), the sixteen-year-old Jones is still making waves in the entertainment industry, touring with American Idol Live and trying to make a difference back home on the First Coast.

• Jones is actively involved with the Sulzbacher Center, an emergency shelter for homeless individuals and families. “I want to be a big help to the youth there. I know they’re going through tough times but I want them to remember that, if they put their whole heart in it, they’ll get through it.”

• Despite having already “made it,” she still wants to go to school to further her career. “I want to go to Berklee in Boston. I heard it’s a good college for music. I like writing, too. Sometimes when I write, it comes out more like poetry but I just sing it. Anything I’m feeling at the moment, I’ll write it.”

• “I have ten brothers and sisters and I’m the sixth child so I’m right in the middle. I want a dog, though.”

• As far as her musical idols go, she favors “Beyonce, Rihanna, Sia, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson.”

• Though a tour bus might not seem like the most comfortable way to travel, Jones is happy to be taking to the road on the Idol tour. “I’ve always wanted to travel and as I continue to grow in music, I’ll be able to go out of the country more.”

• The tour stop she’s most looking forward to? “I’m looking forward to performing in my hometown, to come back [July 15] and perform for everybody in my hometown, instead of them just watching me on TV. I think that’s going to be really cool.”