“American Idol” contestant Allison Iraheta finds her voice

As a young girl Allison Iraheta always dreamed of making it big in the music world.

But it was in this South Central Los Angeles neighborhood where the budding star began wowing audiences with her powerful renditions of traditional musica ranchera.

“I started singing rancheras and the songs that my grandma loved I would learn and I’d go sing at these voice lessons,” she says.

And by the age of 15, Iraheta had won her first major singing competition airing on Spanish television.

For many, it’s her American Idol fame that made Iraheta known to the masses.

“It was such a huge crazy journey but the doors opened for me,” she says.

An international tour, photo shoots and a record deal- her dreams had come true. But just months into her tour with fellow idol contestant, Adam Lambert, those dreams were dashed when the record label decided to drop her.

“It was really hard.   It was really hard for me to even get on stage and sing, but I did,” she recalls.

Iraheta nearly gave up singing altogether.

“It had been quite a few months of me just being home after the Adam Lambert tour doing nothing and kinda not wanting to leave the house or sing or do anything that had to do with music,” she says.

That all changed when she met longtime producer and songwriter, Matthew Hager.

“Allison happens to be one of the finest vocalists I’ve ever heard on every level,” Hager says.

Now Allison Iraheta’s making music of her very own.

Sporting her signature pink hair, Iraheta is rocking it with her new band Halo Circus. With a new record nearly completed, Halo Circus is sweeping the L.A. music scene.

“Halo represents the sacredness of our lives and circus represents the craziness of the world we live in,” Iraheta says. “And then we sing about that.”

The music tells her story, both in English and in Spanish.

“When you’re you and you’re strong and you know that you’re going to carry your talent and your beauty through whatever life has to throw at you, you’re going to take over the world,” she says.

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