Jessica Sanchez, though garnering meteoric stardom after participating on "American Idol", actually had stolen many American's heart before then. When she was ten, she performed Aretha Franklin's "Respect" at Showtime at the Apollo, wowing everyone including host Whoopi Goldberg.
A year later, she auditioned for "America's Got Talent" but didn't get picked. She got a second chance in the wild card round as the choice of judge Brandy Norwood for her raw talent, but she once again didn't make it despite being called "one of the best I have ever heard" by Simon Cowell.
She continued to polish her skills as her popularity shot up on the internet. She became online singing sensation, taking part in a lot of projects for iTunes with independent record label Spin Move Records and participating in YouTube version of "We Are the World (Haiti)".
Born August 4, 1995, Sanchez participated on "Idol" season 11 and made it all the way until week 7 when she landed on the bottom two and ended up singing for her life to coax the judges to use their "save" card, which they did. This made her the first female and the fourth finalist in the competition history spared from elimination.
Thanks to the judges, she made into the top 2 competing for the crown against Phillip Phillips. She performed new single "Change Nothing", while her rival sang "Home". Despite being a frontrunner since the beginning of the show, she finished second on the show. Her family moved from Chula Vista to Los Angeles to allow her closer access to entertainment world.
Post-"Idol", she was flooded with offers such touring across the country, singing at Memorial Day concerts and the White House event, recording with will.i.am and Ne-Yo, and landing a recurring role on the fourth season of "Glee". On top of that, she found love in fellow "Idol" contestant DeAndre Brackensick.
Her debut album "You, Me & the Music" is released on April 30 with Ne-Yo assisted single "Tonight" on the lead. "I wanted to make it perfect for the fans. "I've worked in the studio before, but going to that next level with such high producers? It was crazy ... working with Ne-Yo. Everything was such a blur and I was just a fangirl the whole time," she gushed.