By BECKY ANDREWS
Photos by AMY RICH
You know what it feels like to meet someone who you instantly know has that special something. It makes you think, “This person is going to be SOMEBODY.” That’s how I felt when meeting Courtney Jones more than 7 years ago when she was attending the same school as my oldest child. When my son and her little brother became best friends, I got to know her even better. By all appearances, she looked and acted like most 6 year old girls. She loved playing with dolls, with her friends and on occasion, with her two brothers and sister. But something made Courtney stand apart; her voice.
It was spring 2004 when she sang “America the Beautiful” to a crowded auditorium of parents at her very own kindergarten graduation. This was not the voice of a child. This was a voice of someone destined to be a star. In that moment, Coco, would become her professional name and her parents, Mike and Javonda Jones, began helping their oldest daughter realize her dream of singing success.
After singing the National Anthem in front of thousands at two St Louis Rams games, being one of a handful of artists featured on the Maury Povich national television special, “The 2009 Most Talented Kids,” and countless other performances and appearances, Coco is on the verge of becoming the NEXT BIG THING. With all this talent, it was only a matter of time before someone took notice. And that someone was Disney.
Jones and a select few artists will appear on the Radio Disney’s latest installment of Next Big Thing. N.B.T. is a popular Disney Special that’s launched the careers of several popular artists. Past winner and Nashville native, Jasmine, made teens (and a few grown women) envious when she began touring as the opening act for teen pop sensation Justin Beiber after her NBT win in 2009.
So what’s on the line for Jones if she wins?
The Season 3 winner of Next Big Thing will receive a recording contract from Hollywood Records and tour as the opening act for the Pop/Rock band, All Star Weekend. All Star Weekend first rose to fame when they were featured on N.B.T .in 2008. Despite losing the top spot in that competition, the fan favorite was signed to Hollywood Records.
How Can Wilson County help one of their own win this national competition?
Coco’s two-week showcase period is November 10-23, right before the open voting starts on November 24. Fans can vote for Coco on her designated online site, or by texting “NBT” to Disney at: 347639. The public can begin voting on November 10th thru November 30th. Make sure when voting for Coco, you vote ‘5.’ This will ensure she gets the top vote from you.
To vote, visit www.radiodisney.com, click on the N.B.T. tab and vote. In the meantime, you can visit the site and take a look at this talented Wilson County resident.
In October 2010, Coco began touring schools across the country spreading an important message to children and teens everywhere. Her, ‘Stop the Bullying Tour,’ which kicked off in California will reach thousands of students warning them of the dangers of bullying. Jones’ will debut, ‘U B U’ during the tour. ‘UBU’ is a powerful ballad Jones’ penned that will lift the spirit of anyone who may face obstacles including a bully. In a time when young pop stars sing about love, Jones’ is breaking the trend with positive lyrics about real issues our children face today.
In addition to her musical performances, Coco enjoys acting and modeling. She appears in a National PSA series by Dr. David Katz entitled “Nutrition Detectives”– promoting a healthy lifestyle for kids by way of good nutrition and physical activity. She also performs in the children’s series, “Webster and the POD Squad.”
Coco is currently starring in the feature film, “The Big Apple”, produced by Lifeway Productions.
You can download Coco’s latest CD, Coco Jones, and become a member of her fan club at www.cocosings.com.