Pictured left to right: Program Chairman Lion Dean Craig, Rev. Michael Abel, Kailey Abel, and Lion Jim Vaughn.
Tuesday's Lions Club program was another one of those "WOW!" programs provided by Kailey Abel, a 16 year-old Verdigris High School junior, who just returned from Hollywood where she competed with four other finalists in the Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter (season 6) with Red One & Cody Simpson competition. Pretty amazing to be in the top five from more than 9,000 entrants.
For the online contest, artists, at least 16 years old, could submit up to five videos of themselves performing their original songs. The competition began last September and ended in November with the finalists being announced the last week of January via Guitar Center's Facebook page by record producer-artist Red One.
With her family by her side, she heard Red One say her name and compare her voice skills to Lady Gaga. "I love your voice", he said as she screamed and high-fived her father, Michael Abel, pastor of the Verdigris Assembly of God Church. "I love the fact that you were very comfortable with your voice and you controlled it......I don't know if I'm allowed to say it but you remind me a little bit like how Lady Gaga plays with her voice. You delivered an amazing delivery".
Last week, Kailey and her parents were flown to California to compete against the other four finalists at an invitation-only event on stage at the legendary Troubadour Club in West Hollywood (the same stage where Elton John, Billy Joel, John Lennon, Waylon Jennings, and many other famous artists have performed). She sang two of her songs, which she performed for the Lions, while most of us sat mesmerized by the talent this young lady possesses. I can not help but allude to the fact that many a God-given talent (such as the late Elvis Presley and so many other successful famous singers) was begun and honed by singing in church. And Kailey is no exception, as she is the praise-and-worship leader in her church.
Not surprising if you consider that the 16 year-old once auditioned for "The Voice" and didn't make the second cut but was invited to come back and skip the first round. She turned the offer down because she earned a golden ticket for the final season of "American Idol". There, she made it to the Hollywood rounds before being eliminated.
As a finalist, she has already won a $6,688 package of performance gear including an ES-Les Paul special electric guitar, amps, strings, keyboard unit, microphone, condenser, ear phones, pedal, monitor, and a Martin guitar.
As a young girl, Kailey said her dreams included being a horse rider, a doctor, a teacher, an architect, and even an astronaut. But once she picked up a microphone, it was all over--she knew what her calling was to be, writing songs and singing--exactly what she is doing now. But without a doubt, Kailey will be able to do whatever she wants to do, and she will pursue it with a passion. Quite possibly when she starts her career, she will become a Lion because we are still looking for a few more good men and women. How about you? "WE SERVE".
(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig with excerpts by Rita Sherrow, Tulsa World).
Kailey Abel entertains Lion members.
Kailey Abel and Heather Sumner