Best Miami Idol (2007)

Nadia Turner

When Nadia Turner appeared on American Idol's fourth season — hereafter known as the one that Carrie Underwood won — Simon Cowell lavished praise on her. "In a competition full of hamburgers, you are a steak," the smug Brit smirked after a jaw-dropping rendition of Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me." Too bad this contest is based on the tin-eared response of a whim-driven listening audience that cares more about appearance than talent. Turner made the top eight before she was unceremoniously booted — some say after she rocked a fierce-beyond-words fro-hawk while singing a reggaefied version of "Time After Time." It seems that she broke the American Idol wacky hair curse (although it ultimately didn't work for Sanjaya), and she was ahead of the mohawk comeback. ("I know! It's funny; after I wore the mohawk, I started to see it everywhere!" she says.) Local fans who loved Turner and her fabulous 'fro will be delighted to know that this Miami girl hasn't given up on her dream. It turns out that Ms. Turner has been quite busy in her post-Idol life."Let's see. I did a movie [Lord Help Us, which costars Mad TV's Debra Wilson] that will be released on May 8. I recently cohosted The View with Barbara Walters and Rosie O'Donnell.... The royal family of Kuwait invited me to perform for them for New Year's, so I flew over there and that was exciting. I'm starting my own clothing line ... I've been very busy! I'm a hustler." More than anything, Nadia's been fine-tuning her long-overdue album, which promises to stay true to her funky rock roots. "I was supposed to release this album like three months ago. It's totally a rock-soul kind of vibe.... The only problem with that is, when you go against the grain, people are afraid to take chances. They want to go with what they're familiar with. That's unfortunate." She's actually had well-connected record execs express concern and doubt about finding a niche for a black rocker chick with a mop of fabulous curls on mainstream radio and MTV."My comeback is: Black people are the originators of rock. Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix ... we are the founders of rock and roll. We started it, how come we can't have it backç" When the album finally drops, Nadia Turner might not get the love that she deserves from cookie-cutter urban radio stations, but she's definitely not planning on giving up on her ambitions anytime soon. "My mom raised me this way, that things will never come to you, you have to knock and let God open the doors that are supposed to be opened. And I've been knocking at a lot of doors," she says. "I've been told for most of my life that, you know, you have to do it their way. And I refuse to do it that way."


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