ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Singer Ashley Hess, 27, who competed in the most recent season of ABC’s American Idol, performed for about 200 youth during the Albuquerque New Mexico West Stake Youth Conference on Saturday, June 22. Her comfortable fusion of Pop and R&B warmed the hearts of those in attendance as much as it did American Idol judge Katy Perry who compared her to Grammy winner Carole King.
Hess, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not only sang for the youth but also included 25 minutes of questions and answers about anything concerning American Idol and her journey in the music industry as a member of the Church.
Hess also staged an event for families at Terrazas Park on the west side of Albuquerque on Monday, June 24. Those in attendance enjoyed silky smooth arrangements of 13 songs including four originals. The ones she wrote herself and performed that evening were “The Intro,” “Running,” “The Moment You Stand,” and a song only 200 others had heard up until that evening entitled “Quiet.”
Some of the audience favorites she covered were, “Don’t Know Why,” “I’m Yours” (a song she got to sing on American Idol with Jason Mraz), and “Fix You” another powerful ballad that drew thunderous applause.
When asked about the possible struggles with keeping Church standards while working as a performing artist, Hess, who currently serves as her ward’s Relief Society president, said, “I want to show, not just members of the Church, but everybody, that you can be successful in a crazy industry like the music industry and keep your standards. It’s not one or the other. I think that you can do both. Maybe I’m stubborn or naïve for believing that, but it’s my goal to show it’s possible.”