The down-to-earth Queens girl catches up with It’s Queens.
By LISA A. FRASER
The former American Idol contestant and now recording artist, was clad in a bedazzling short, silver, sequenced dress and six-inch heels, which accentuated her already long legs as she performed her single, “This Time” for her friends, family and attendees at Russo’s on the Bay’s hosting of the annual fundraiser for the Angels on the Bay charity.
For her, it was great to be back home in Queens.
“Things like this, being here is so special to me. I’ve performed here over the last four years,” she said as she spoke with It’s Queens that night. Toscano, a wedding and events singer up to her record deal, always performed around the borough with her band, Current Events, also on hand that night.
The fact that it was her birthday and also her grandfather’s birthday held an even more special significance. “It’s amazing,” said the 23-year-old. “I’m so glad that I could sing with my band again, I miss them. They’re the ones that brought me to where I am now.”
The band made a special cake for Toscano and presented it to her after her performance – to her surprise.
All through the night, the young starlet barely had a chance to sit for more than a few minutes as admirers and fans asked for photos and autographs. But it wasn’t something she minded in the least bit.
With her mega-watt smile and down-to-earth charm, Toscano gracefully accepted compliments and well wishes, and she graciously posed for photos and signed autographs.
And when she performed, her powerful voice filled the room as she belted out her single, “This Time,” as well as flawless covers of Alicia Keys’ “New York” and the classic, “Stand by You.”
For Toscano, the journey to where she is presently has been “quite the ride.”
Her shocking elimination broke the hearts of many Queensites and Idol fans. But within 24-hours after her departure from the show, she scored a record deal with Interscope Records.
Toscano just wrapped up the American Idols LIVE! concert tour in the Philippines and is now working on finishing up her debut album, which will be released in January.
Originally set to be released in November, the album was pushed back because, among other reasons, she and her team wanted it to be the perfect representation of who she is.
“I’m a down-to-earth girl. Family for me is first and foremost, I love my family time,” she said. “I like to lay low, I like my quiet time and I could be a little shy at times but I just like to have a good time.”
Though she wouldn’t reveal the name of the album, she promised it would be an eclectic mix of sounds.
“If [fans] don’t get the chills or they don’t want to get up and dance, I’ll feel like I’ve failed,” she said. “I want people to be able to relate to my story.”
The best part about her success, Toscano says, is making her family proud. “My family for sure has helped keep me grounded,” she said.
And about Queens, the Howard Beach native has an infinite appreciation for the borough.
“Queens has watched me grow and allowed me so many opportunities to perform when I was nobody,” she said. “That’s what special to me.”
On her rise to fame, Toscano says everything about the journey has been surprising.
“It’s all new to me. But most surprising is to know that you’re a role model,” she said. “I’ve always looked up to all those big voices – Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey – and now I guess I’m kind of that person for a young girl too, to look up to and that’s the best and most rewarding feeling ever.”
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