When singer Frenchie Davis takes the stage, whether it’s live or performing on television, she leaves an impression. She’s a rare extraordinary talent with a commanding voice, total stage presence and the confidence to be herself, like when she came out earlier this year. She’s a reality TV superstar and Broadway veteran, but today, Frenchie Davis releases her first single off her album Just Frenchie, a dance track titled “Love’s Got a Hold on Me.”
A former American Idol contestant (who was eliminated during the show’s second season when she acknowledged she had worked with an adult website in the past), Davis says she was skeptical of recording dance music like “Love’s Got a Hold on Me.” But Christina Aguilera, another vocal powerhouse and Davis’ coach on NBC’s The Voice, encouraged the 33-year old to push that edge.
“At the time I didn’t really get it because I felt like this was a singing competition about the voice, and I don’t really know if I’m showing off my vocal ability doing these songs,” Davis says of Aguilera’s pushing her toward dance hits. But once a pair of songs she covered landed at #3 and #5 on the iTunes Dance Chart, she was singing a different tune. “They were on to something,” Davis says. “I said wow, maybe I still have a shot at doing this recording artist thing.”
Renowned for her reality TV contest appearances Davis made headlines early this summer when she came out as bisexual, and that she had been in a relationship with a woman for a year. The in-the-moment proclamation came as a result of Davis’ desire to simply be honest.
“I was doing an interview with a small newspaper in St. Louis to promote a performance I would be doing at their Pride Festival, and the gentleman interviewing me just flat out asked me about my sexuality,” Davis says. “And in the moment, I just decided, ‘I’m going to answer this question truthfully.’ The journey to self acceptance is too long to get there and then have to give ambiguous answers about who I am.”
Since making the choice to be open about her sexuality Davis is now publicly out and proud. “We can’t lie to ourselves and say that if we don’t talk about it, then all of a sudden people aren’t going to be gay,” Davis says, adding with a laugh, “I’m not going to be a 50-year-old woman with a 'roommate.'”
A self-proclaimed advocate for gay rights and human rights, Davis continues to speak about the importance of unity among all persecuted minorities. “I’m appalled and taken aback by homophobia in the black community because you have a group of people who know at the very core of themselves what it’s like to be discriminated against and judged, and to know what that feels like and then turn around and judge and discriminate another group of people. I just think it’s ridiculous,” she says.
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Davis also stresses the importance of all LGBT people banding together. She says she has faced difficulty in the past dating women, due to the stigma she says bisexual people often face. “I think the gay community is going to cut off their noses to spite their faces,” Davis says. “We can’t go out here and march and protest and publicly demand equal treatment when we’re not seeing one another equally within our own community.”
Blessed with the voice of a diva Davis is ultimately a humble vocalist in touch with her fans and aware of her responsibility as a role model to young women.
“One of the things that’s most important to me in this whole journey is being able to inspire young people. And so what I would say to young women is this, ‘There will always be forces in the world that will try to convince you that you’re not enough. They’ll tell you you’re not pretty enough; they’ll tell you you’re not thin enough; they’ll tell you that your skin’s not white enough,’” Davis says. “I just want young women out there to know that they’re enough, and they don’t have to be anyone other than themselves. I would just say dream big. Dream big.”
Frenchie Davis’ single “Love’s Got a Hold on Me” is available on iTunes now but watch the video below!