From her voice, to her style, to her weight loss, singer Y’Anna Crawley’s journey is limitless. Over 1.7 million people tuned into Season Two of the Sunday Best Finale where Y’Anna Crawley was crowned the winner of the gospel talent show on BET.
What many don’t know about Crawley is that before she auditioned for Sunday Best, the DC native auditioned for FOX’s singing talent show American Idol.
“The Idol judges and producers said I was pretty and I had what it took, but I still didn’t make the cut,” Crawley said. “After that failed, I told myself that was it for me, it was over, and I wouldn’t do anymore reality talent shows.”
The Stellar Award winner said she can remember at six years old performing her first solo “Power in the Blood” in her church choir. In addition to always singing around the house, in church, and with family, Crawley sang background for music stars like Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Ledisi, Chrisette Michelle, Jennifer Lopez, Raheem DeVaughn and more.
Despite her comment about reality shows, her love for music later led her to audition for Sunday Best Season Two. When the show was first announced Crawley began receiving emails and text messages saying that this was the right platform for her soulful tone.
Although she had doubts, she stepped out on faith and auditioned. She now says auditioning for Sunday Best was one of the best decisions she’s ever made in her life.
“Auditioning for Sunday Best was so surreal,” Crawley said. “I fell in love with music at a young age, I can remember always singing and pretending to be an actress a lot when I was younger.”
Speaking of being young, just as individuals on Sunday Best were mentors to her, Crawley wants to be a mentor to others through more ways than just her music. One of those ways she plans on doing that is by opening up an etiquette school for young girls.
“As a person who had to go through many difficult situations and having to put my life on hold after having my first child in high school at 17, I know what different challenges young women have to go through. I am just trying to reach out to them and let them know that they are not alone,” she said.
Crawley also talked about another big challenge, which was shedding nearly 50 pounds.
“I have always been thick,” the singer said. “So I said to myself I had to get healthy and if I wanted a change, I had to make one.” One of the ways the singer achieved this goal was by starting a fast at her church. “It was dedication changing my diet and exercise habits and before I knew it, the weight was dropping off like rose pedals.”
Nearly four years after winning Sunday Best, things are looking uphill for Crawley as she recently released a new powerful single entitled “We Need You” written by Aaron Sledge.
“With this album everybody will get a chance to see all the different assets of me,” she said. “What I really want people to know is just because I don’t say the name “Jesus” in a song doesn’t mean he is not with me. This album is going to be about things we go through in everyday life, gains and losses, grudges with family and friends, and about with faith you can overcome anything. I am excited about taking everybody on this journey with me!”