SOUTH FLORIDA SENTINEL

Back to American Idol

'American Idol' finalists to perform at Parker Playhouse

By Nick Sortal

July 10, 2015

Tanna Jones has been singing practically since birth, and when the "American Idol" tour comes to Fort Lauderdale Tuesday, July 14, there will be someone in the audience who heard her way back then.

"She had the loudest quack," says her brother Timothy Jones, the oldest of 11 siblings. "She was the one singing with the hairbrush as a microphone in the mirror. She just had a glow about her, and her voice stood out."

Tyanna Jones
Tyanna Jones, 16, grew up in Jacksonville, where she and her 10 siblings were homeless for a while. (Lee Cherry/Courtesy)
Tyanna Jones finished fifth in the "American Idol" season that ended May 13. The season's top five contestants began a 37-city tour July 7 in Clearwater, one of seven Florida stops, including Parker Playhouse.

Timothy Jones is pastor of First Church of Truth, on Funston Street in Hollywood. He and his congregants snapped up tickets to the show the day they went on sale. In January, the nondenominational Christian church moved to Hollywood from West Palm Beach.

Tyanna, 16, says religion and music have been central in the family's life. "I always sang at church, and I'd sing super loud so people could hear me," she says.

Timothy credits the family's spirituality for his sister's success on the show. "We are not surprised. I'm really, godly proud," he says. "Faith has always been important to Tyanna, and to all of us."

The music also pulled the family through a few months of homelessness, when they lived either with friends or in a Jacksonville church.

"I was about 3 years old when we were homeless, and I was mostly unaware because I was so young," Tyanna says. "But we finally were able to get the finances for us to stay in one place."

Timothy says the experience brought the family closer together.

"We never realized we were homeless until years later because there was so much joy," says Timothy, who was 12 at the time. "My mom always made sure music was playing, not only from church, but Whitney Houston, R&B, even the Eagles, just to keep us balanced. We all were in the choir in church, and almost all of us played instruments."


The "American Idol" Tour will appear 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 14, at Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St., in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $60.50-$80.50. Call 954-462-0222 or go to ParkerPlayhouse.com.