Your Host... Comedian Shawn Banks
Shawn Banks, a noted stand-up comedian, actor and writer best known for Who's Got Jokes? (2006), Never Back Down (2008) and The Cops Did It (2009). When Shawn takes the stage, his larger than life personality immediately fills the entire room.
Shawn Banks was born in Alton, IL, a small suburb just 20-minutes from St. Louis, Missouri a rocks throw across the Mississippi River. Known for witty observations and dead-on impersonations of many, comedian Shawn Banks has been exploding in comedy clubs and theaters across the country. Shawn’s most recognizable asset when he takes the stage is his presence.
At 6’3″ 300 pounds, Shawn is built like a Defensive Tackle, you can definitely tell that the ELEPHANT IS IN THE ROOM. Shawn’s brand of comedy can be explained as “Happy-Sarcastic” with stories and slanted point of views on everyday life. In the fall of 2005 & 2006, Shawn took his Family-Fun humor and auditioned and landed a Stand-Up spot on the TOM JOYNER SKY SHOW at the WALT-DISNEY Milk-House in front of 4000+ people. The show is also heard by over 10-million listeners across the country daily. Shawn was also a Finalist for COMEDY CENTRAL’S 2007-2008 South Beach Comedy Festival & Open Mic Fight. In the same month Shawn also won $1000 and a first place bid in NESTLE-PURINA’S Pet Comedy Challenge and competed and WON 2nd place and $5000 CASH in St. Louis, MO. In 2009 Shawn was a semifinalist on NBC hit series “America’s Got Talent” and can also be seen on the 2nd Season of “Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes” on TV One. He is an actor and writer, known for the films Never Back Down (2008) and The Cops Did It (2009).
Shawn does not stop with just comedy, he has been seen on the Big Screen in Summit Entertainment’s “NEVER BACK DOWN”; the BIO Networks Celebrity Ghost Stories and in the Fall of 2013 he can be seen on TV One’s Celebrity Crime Stories portraying NOTORIOUS BIG. Shawn Banks has performed with many comics in today’s market such as: Sinbad, Earthquake, Bruce-Bruce, Sommore, Bill Bellamy, Rickey Smiley and many, many more.
Shawn enjoys taking great pride in his versatility of being able to perform in mainstream venues and urban comedy clubs with audiences of all ethnicities, as well as clean humor for corporate events.
12th Annual ONYX Award Performers
She got her start singing at an early age at Temple Church of Christ, the church founded by her grandparents in St. Louis, MO.
Àngela Lisa Winbush was born January 18, 1955 in St. Louis, MO.
She got her start singing at an early age at Temple Church of Christ, the church founded by her grandparents Bishop Austin and Sister Selena Layne in St. Louis, MO.
With a passion for design and architecture Àngela enrolled at the historic Howard University in Washington, DC as an architecture student. It was while at Howard she began singing for money to help support her college education.
With her singing roots still deeply and firmly planted in the church she started singing with Richard Smallwood at Union Temple Baptist Church. She also began performing with friends in a group. They called themselves, "Hot Tea".
Performing with Hot Tea gave her exposure to the music industry as she and her friends began traveling around the country and opening for major performers. During this time Àngela began doing background vocals for different music artist.
By 1977 Àngela realized her passion was music and changed her major from Architecture to Music Education. Soon after, she recorded her first demo and began shopping it to major labels. Although she was not successful in landing a record deal her demo was instrumental in landing her a job singing background for one of the most successful artists at that time, Stevie Wonder. As a member of Wonderlove Àngela soon became Stevie's protégé and learned the ends and outs of the record industry including writing and arranging.
In 1979 while on a gig singing with Stevie Wonder Àngela met Rene' Moore. Eager to land a record deal the two decided to team up as a duo and formed René & Àngela. In 1980 they released their first album self-titled "René & Angela". Two more albums followed with songs that became moderate hits which included "I Love You More" and the R&B ballad "My First Love" which peaked at number twelve on the R&B chart. In 1985 after leaving Capitol Records René & Àngela signed with Mecury releasing their fourth album, "A Street Called Desire" which proved to be a hit with such songs as "Save Your Love", "I'll Be Good" and "Your Smile" climbing the music charts. The album eventually went platinum with "Your Smile" becoming a Billboard No.1 R&B hit. The duo also found success as songwriters and producers, writing for and working with many respected artists.
Even with all the success they began to share, tensions mounted and in 1986 they parted ways.
1987 saw Àngela re-emerge on Mercury as a solo artist with her solo debut album "Sharp." She went on to record her 2nd solo album, "The Real Thing" on Mercury. Her 3rd solo album was self-titled "Àngela Winbush." As a solo artist she scored several hits including,"Run to Me", "Treat You Rite", "It's The Real Thing" and her signature song "Angel" which has become a fan favorite.
In a time when men were seen as the top talent for writing and producing, Àngela proved herself to be a bonafide solo songwriter and producer working with many artist in the industry including The Isley Brothers, Stephanie Mills, Lalah Hathaway and Sheena Easton.
Àngela has sold over ten million albums and singles worldwide.
She was formerly married to Ronald Isley, of the legendary Isley Brothers.
As a Stage III Ovarian Cancer Survivor Àngela lends her celebrity and voice as an advocate for Women's and Men's health. She candidly discusses the importance of early detection through Mammograms, Annual Check-ups and Prostate exams. She once said "For me, the only reason I think I'm alive is so I could save other lives." She went on to say, "It's not about me looking cute all the time. It's about my life being spared so I can show people they can make it through a tough situation."
Àngela is also an Ordained Minister.
Tyanna Jones is a 17 year old Jacksonville native who was chosen as a contestant on Season 14 of American Idol.
Tyanna Jones is a 17 year old Jacksonville native whose dreams of using her voice to connect with people all over the world came true when she was chosen as a contestant on Season 14 of American Idol. And while Tyanna’s American Idol experience has allowed her to perform before national television audiences, on such renowned stages as the Orpheum & Dolby theaters’, and eventually leading her to claim one of the Top 5 spots on the 38 city American Idol tour, her journey has not been without struggle or sacrifice.
It was while growing up in a household that was always filled with love, laughter and loud music that Tyanna, and her 10 brothers and sisters (parents-Timothy & Tamara Jones) took on an appreciation for good music. During some of the most difficult times in their lives: homelessness, no lights or water and even struggling to purchase food; their love for God, one another & music allowed them to pull together, persevere and overcome. Such a genuine “old soul”, Tyanna began singing in the church choir at the tender age of 5 under the tutelage of her mother, Tamara Jones, who served as choir director in their church. The way that Tyanna lit up when she got a microphone in her hands, coupled with a voice that is mature beyond her years, her undeniable confidence and commanding stage presence, it didn’t take long for her mother to recognize that Tyanna had something special. Eventually others within the choir, and without began to recognize the youngster’s raw talent and she soon became the lead vocalist for many of the songs sung during services and at special events. From there Tyanna’s talents and her love of singing would not only earn her several first place and runner-up prizes in local singing competitions and talent shows around Jacksonville, but opened the doors to amazing opportunities such as American Idol, performing with The Jackson’s as well as the special guest during Harry Connick Jr.’s summer concert tour.
Tyanna Jones is the epitome of an over comer, and a firm believer that with her unwavering faith, and her family she has been blessed to accomplish as much as she has, and because of the same she knows that the sky is no limit to what she can attain!