Stories behind the voices: Contestants on “Rising Star”

Rising Star on ABC

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) This Sunday holds a special treat for viewers of “Rising Star.” Expert and country music superstar, Brad Paisley will perform his current hit single, “River Bank,” live on Sunday’s show. The song is from his upcoming album, Moonshine in the Trunk, which will be released on August 25.

The next set of 10 phenomenal acts from across the country will perform on this Sunday’s final Live Auditions episode of ABC’s new groundbreaking reality series “Rising Star,” SUNDAY, JULY 6, (9:00-11:00 p.m.) on WOTV4. These 10 performers will compete for the last spots in the final group of contestants competing for a recording contract with legendary Capitol Records. Learn more about their inspiring stories below.

Cliff Cody, 39, Perry County, OH

Audrey Kate Geiger, 24, New York, NY

Skye Griffin, 26, Houston, TX

Gabrielle Nicole, 20, Cleveland, OH

Dana Williams, 24, LA, CA

OhMG (Gabby Puyat, 20 and Michael Dunn, 25), LA, CA

TX3 (Lance, Miles and Jordan Tindall), 23, Chester, IL

Unselfish (Kevin Taylor, 23; Brandon Jackson, 23; Anthony Frazier, 25; Antwan Jackson 24),

Atlanta, GA

Karen Hornsby, 36, Jacksonville, FL

Morgan Higgins, 16, San Clemente, CA


Learn more about the contestants:

Cliff Cody, 39, Perry County, OH

Cliff grew up in Odessa, TX and is a full time musician. He lives with his wife of 16 years and his 14-year-old daughter in a log cabin, has the world’s worst 100 lb. watchdog and two goats named Ryan Lewis and Macklemore. He recently gave up being an RN to pursue music full time and he performs about one week every month in Key West, FL.

Audrey Kate Geiger, 24, New York, NY

Originally from West Long Branch, NJ, Audrey got her musical dreams for her dad. She used to be a surfer girl in NJ but she gave that up to pursue singing in the city and works as a bartender and yoga instructor. Twenty-one years ago, her Grandma went missing while on vacation in Delaware, and after 14 years, the police declared her dead, though her body was never found. Police suspect that she was a murder victim. Twitter and Instagram: audreykateg

Skye Griffin, 26, Houston, TX

A full-time singer/songwriter, Skye grew up with her grandmother, because her mother was a drug addict. Today, her mom is clean and even formed a foundation to help others overcome addition which was praised by Michelle Obama. Skye has sung backup for T-Pain and hopes to touch hearts with her music and story. If she wins the competition, it will be all she has prayed for and will give her a chance to change other people’s lives for the better. Twitter and Instagram: @SkyeTunes

Gabrielle Nicole, 20, Cleveland, OH

She and her two brothers were raised in Baltimore by a single mom who struggled financially. Gospel music was her escape and saved her from a turbulent youth. She’s lived in Cleveland for the last 8 years, and works as a dance instructor and choreographer. She plays the piano and drums, writes music and lyrics, and is a self-described diva. Her idols are Tina Turner, Prince, Beyoncé and Patti LaBelle. Twitter and Instagram: @gabbieytv

Dana Williams, 24, Los Angeles, CA

A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she has worked as a teacher’s assistant in an elementary art school class as well as a private guitar instructor. . Her father, David Williams, was a rhythm guitarist for Michael Jackson and one of her biggest musical influences. Her dad bought her the guitar at a young age and gave her the music bug. He passed away a few years ago but he keeps on inspiring her to go for her dream. Twitter and Instagram: @iamdanawilliams

Gabby Puyat, 20 and Michael Dunn, 25, Los Angeles, CA

Gabby Puyat, 20, and Michael Dunn, 25, met at a house party where they gave an impromptu performance together and had an instant connection. After performing in a band together for over a year, the two keep pushing forward, thanks to their connection of both growing up missing a parent. (Michael’s mom passed away when he was just 17, Gabby grew up not knowing her dad until searching for him when she was 14). Now they are taking any gig they can, using their parents as inspiration to keep on fighting for their dreams. Twitter and Instagram: @OhMGband

Lance, Miles and Jordan Tindall, 23, Chester, IL

These identical triplets from Chester, IL may be from a small town but they have big dreams. In 2012 their mother, Rosie, went into full remission from cancer, inspiring them to pursue their vision of success in music. They moved to Los Angeles and all work for a telemarketing firm, but have even worked as shirtless buskers on Hollywood Boulevard, calling themselves the Trippendales. Twitter: @Tx3Music Instagram: TX3MUSIC

Unselfish (group), Atlanta, GA

Four young men, originally from Miami, Florida, now live in the same house and work in the same H&M store in Atlanta, where they practice their routines in the stockroom on their breaks. Twitter/ Instagram: @Unselfish4

Kevin Taylor, member of Unselfish, 23, Atlanta, GA

Kevin works as a Sales Advisor at H&M and counts Beyoncé and Usher as his biggest musical influences because their work ethics and drive for success. He writes music, plays the drums and grew up in Miami where he also went to college at Miami Dade College. Twitter and Instagram: @Unselfish4

Brandon Jackson, member of Unselfish, 23, Atlanta, GA

Brandon grew up in Miami, went to Johnson & Wales University and works at H&M with Kevin. He counts Michael Jackson and Ne-Yo as his biggest musical influences and is a “hopeless romantic.” In addition to his vocal stylings, he plays piano and likes basketball, videogames and dancing. Twitter: @Adizzyboi Instagram: Adizzyboi

Anthony Frazier, member of Unselfish, 25, Atlanta, GA

Anthony is also a native of Miami and, along with the other members of Unselfish, made his television debut by competing on the national television show, “106 & Park.” A singer and songwriter, he studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, but is paying the bills as a Sales Advisor. If Unselfish wins, he says it will give him a chance to be a role model to the world. Twitter: Unselfish_itb Instagram: 305singer

Antwan Jackson, member of Unselfish, 24, Atlanta, GA

Like his fellow members, Antwan also hails from Miami and now works as a Sales Advisor, though he’s held jobs as a bank teller and in security, too. He’s a songwriter and hopes to someday tour the world and make an unselfish way of life through music. A big fan of Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake’s talents, Antwan respects that they both constantly strive to become better artists, as he tries to. Twitter and Instagram: @Unselfish4

Karen Hornsby, 36, Jacksonville, FL

A one-time elementary school teacher, Karen is married and a stay-at-home mom of daughter, Gabrielle, who has been left blind and unable to talk, since her treatment for brain cancer. In addition to singing, Karen writes music and is inspired by Celine Dion’s voice which she thinks is magical and moving. Music is her passion and through it, she wants to be an encouragement to others. Twitter and Instagram: @karenhornsby

Morgan Higgins, 17, San Clemente, CA

An incoming high school senior, Morgan loves singing, songwriting, acting and photography. Though she’s naturally shy, when she sings she lets that go and feels like she can truly be herself. She is planning for college and wants to major in business and music. Her musical influences are Pink, Christina Aguilera and Kelly Clarkson. Twitter and Instagram: @imorganhiggins


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