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She’s wowing the Entertainment World
By Sarah Rivera

Duluth resident, Jamia Simone Nash

She sang for President George Bush. She’s appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, not once, but twice. And, she caught the eye of now-manager Suzanne de Passe, who discovered none other than The Jackson Five.

At age 6, Jamia Simone Nash has clearly proven that big things do, indeed, come in small packages. The Duluth singer and actress has been wowing the entertainment world since she won a national competition sponsored by McDonald’s and The Apollo at Gwinnett Place Mall last year. Ever since then, the Mason Elementary first grader has had stars in her eyes.

?It’s just fun being a little girl that sings real good. I like being famous,? Jamia said. Her father, James Nash, couldn’t be more proud.

?When she performs, it’s just jaw-dropping, actually,? he said. ?Right now, we’re holding out waiting for the opportunity for a TV series. We already met with Disney, Fox, Warner Brothers — they are calling us. She will start recording to release an album of fun and inspirational music at the end of this year or the beginning of next year. We’re excited. We’re blown away.?

Just who is this prodigy, who began speaking at 12 months and announced her intentions to be a performer 12 months later? Her parents, James and Charlene, both gospel singers and musicians, recall their daughter singing some four years ago. ?She started really belting it out at 2. She was able to control her voice and started making drum sounds with lotion bottles and toys. It’s just something she picked up at a very young age. She just got better,? James Nash said.

After the talent competition last April, where she sang the R&B ballad ?Fallen? by Alicia Keys, Jamia learned that her tape from the show had caught the attention of Jay Leno. Besides appearing on Leno’s show, Jamia wowed an audience at ?Showtime At The Apollo? with Michael Jackson’s ?Who’s Loving You??. She’s been compared to the pop superstar, with De Pass Management of Beverly Hills agreeing to manage her career. Suzanne, who produces ‘Showtime’ was present when Jamia performed at the Apollo,? James Nash said. ?We met and exchanged numbers, and when she went to do Jay Leno, we sat down and had a meeting to discuss Suzanne managing Jamia.

?That was truly a blessing, because me and my wife were prepared to do everything ourselves,? he said. ?Doing the joint management with Suzanne allows a lot of doors to get opened for Jamia, a lot of opportunities.?


Jamia on the Good Morning America Show with Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer. Special photo

The list of appearances is a veritable entertainer’s who’s who, including ?Good Morning America,? ?The Connie Chung Show? and ?My Wife and Kids? with Damon Wayons on ABC. Another show featuring Jamia, ?Half and Half? on UPN TV, will air in May.

?We just wrapped up an ABC special that will be aired in the spring, ?An American Celebration? with President Bush, Leanne Rhimes, Brian McKnight and comedian George Lopez,? James Nash said.

In February, Jamia performed the national anthem for the NBA All Star weekend in Atlanta, and she was featured in ?Ebony? magazine that same month. But how does Jamia’s family keep her fame in perspective? Even Jamia’s sister, 2-year-old Olivia, can’t wait for her turn at the microphone.

?God just makes all the opportunities available to us. We pray on it and make sure it’s something we want to get involved in,? James Nash said. ?We let her play and have fun. We travel as a family. We don’t have any rehearsals, she just walks out on stage, grabs the mike and does her thing. When she leaves the stage, she goes back to being six.?

At school, Jamia said, her friends ask for her autograph. They’d like her to be on ?American Idol.? Yet, the youngster takes it all in stride.

“The most important thing is being yourself,” she said, “not like everybody else.”