You might not know that Alexis Grace and Patrick Dodd are not the only Memphians to make a run on American Idol. Candace Ashir, perhaps better known as Candy Fox, plays at Lafayette's Music Room on Wednesday, January 14th. Ashir is a White Station graduate who went to Boston College in 2002. While there, an actress friend urged her to make an audition video.
"I wasn't even sure what the purpose of the contest was," Ashir says. "It turned out to be that if you won this Boston "Idol" contest, you got an automatic slot to try out for American Idol in New York. Some people camp out all night. I didn't have to do that because I won this contest with the video. We drove from Boston to New York and stayed in my friend's 400-square-foot condo. I auditioned for American Idol and made it through three rounds. The third round is when you sing for Paul, Randy, and Simon. So I did that, and I made it out to L.A. There were 100 of us, so I made the top 100. It was the year that Ruben Studdard won. It was his year. The very first day, I got cut with 49 other awesome, amazing singers and musicians. I was like, 'You've got to be kidding me.'"
Fortunately a communications degree from Boston College led to jobs with archer>malmo PR and then FedEx's corporate communications department, where she works now. After Boston, she sang, recorded, and toured with FreeSol and went solo in 2006, releasing Soul Stir. Ashir wants to record again, but her current focus is on her mother, Brenda, who was diagnosed with leukemia.
"She is my biggest supporter. She's at every Candy Fox show, selling CDs and promoting the heck out of the brand. I have to shout her out."