| Malaya Tina Bandico Watson|
September 24, 1997 (age 18)
Southfield, Michigan, U.S. (1997-09-24)
Vocals, piano, tuba, violin, guitar, bass drum, snare drum
Marian Bandico Watson, Ronald Watson
Contemporary R&B, Soul music, Rhythm and blues
CJ Harris, Dexter Roberts, Sam Woolf, Majesty Rose, Jena Irene
Malaya Watson Wikipedia
Malaya Tina Bandico Watson (born September 24, 1997) is an American singer from Southfield, Michigan, who finished in eighth place on the thirteenth season of American Idol.
She is a half Filipino American, half African-American, the daughter of Ronald Watson, a professional guitar player, and Marian Bandico Watson, who hails from Manila, Philippines and is a nurse. Malaya is a tuba player in Southfield High School marching band. She is an alumna of the Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit, where she sang in Singsation and Hasting Street. She is also an alumna of the Michigan Opera Theatre Children's Chorus., where she starred in Carmen, Tosca, Pied Piper of Hamlin, The Very Last Green Thing' and The Nut Cracker.
She cites her two grandfathers and her father as her personal musical influences. She described her style in singing from Sly Stone and Beyoncé.
At 15, Watson auditioned in Detroit with Aretha Franklin's "Ain't No Way." She is the third youngest contestant in American Idol's history to reach the live finals after Lauren Alaina and Daniel Seavey.
After being deemed as a front-runner to win by judge Jennifer Lopez and fans, Watson was announced as the act with lowest number of votes for Top 8 reveal night. With the Judges save gone, Malaya was eliminated from the competition. She sang "I Am Changing" as her farewell song. After her final performance Watson received a final standing ovation from all three judges.
Watson took part in the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2014 from June 24 through August 24, 2014. Throughout the duration of tour and to date, she worked on her debut EP, My Diary, and her unnamed album.
Watson sang the National Anthem at the Detroit Lions versus New Orleans Saints game at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on October 19, 2014.