LaToya Renee London (born December 29, 1978) is an American R&B and soul singer and actress who was the fourth-place finalist on the third season of the reality/talent-search television series American Idol. Her debut album, Love & Life, was released in September 2005 and spawned a number of moderate R&B chart hits. Since then, she has primarily concentrated on stage work, including an award-nominated turn in the national tour of the Broadway musical The Color Purple, but continues to record as both a solo artist and a member of the hip-hop/Europop act Urban Punk. She currently is performing as part of an extended residency with the Carolina Opry.
London was born in San Francisco, California and raised in Oakland, California, where she had her first public musical performance when, at the age of 7, she sang in her mother's wedding. Her interest in singing began when she was just 4 years old, when she frequently sang when attending Allen Temple Baptist church. As a teenager, she sang with the Oakland Youth Chorus from 1993 to 1996. In 1996, she graduated from Skyline High School (the same school actor Tom Hanks and basketball player Gary Payton attended). She also worked as a waitress and a bartender and even sang in a Christian rock group. She was also a backup vocalist and did frequent guest vocals for several Bay Area artists. When she began American Idol, she was the lead vocalist in a band, All-Star Jukebox, which usually performed at weddings...
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