A 24-year-old Spring Hill woman is hoping her powerful pipes will help her beat out some fellow McDonald's employees for a $25,000 prize.
Lakeyra Langley, a store manager at the McDonald's at 15050 Spring Hill Drive, is among 25 continental finalists in the Voice of McDonald's, a global singing competition open to the company's 1.8 million employees.
Langley's singing had caught the attention of customers, co-workers and especially store owner Josh David, who encouraged her to enter the contest. David described Langley as a "hard-working employee who demonstrates ambition and dedication with everything she does," including earning a promotion to manager at a young age, a McDonald's news release said.
Langley beat out more than 700 singers in Florida to reach the North American final 25. Based on judges' decisions and online voting, four of those 25 will go on to the global finals in Orlando against 12 singers representing three other parts of the world.
"I've been singing/rappin/writing songs since I could cry," Langley writes in the bio attached to her competition video. "I'm the eldest of 14 siblings. Mother's been raising us on her own. ... I was her backbone, her help and her best friend. She formed a choir and we sang every day, every service, even on da street. ... I haven't stopped. Won't stop. I'll keep reaching toward my dreams."
If Langley advances to the final 16 in April's global finals, she'll receive expert help with her wardrobe, choreography, stage presence and vocal coaching, and will get access to a panel of music industry professionals who will serve as judges and offer advice for launching a singing career.
The Voice of McDonald's winner will receive $25,000; the second prize includes $17,500; third prize gets $12,500; and fourth prize gets $7,500.
Online voting will count for 50 percent of the contestant's scores. You can see video of Langley singing and vote for her at the Voice of McDonald's website through Dec. 2.