Howell Township Teen to Compete on American Idol [AUDIO]
One look at her Facebook page with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Ludacris, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, you'd think that 16-year-old Stephanie Marie Hanvey, of Howell Township, has already arrived, but the lineup of who's who in the music industry is just the beginning in her quest to reach super stardom.
Hanvey has hitched herself to FOX's hit reality talent competition American Idol and is one of its 2014 season contestants. Hanvey said she received a golden ticket to California this summer to compete on Idol after auditioning with 10,000 hopefuls at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts.
The petite, brunette songstress is the first to admit that no one would have guessed that pop stardom would be her career trajectory.
"I was very shy when I was younger and I didn't really know how to express myself and through music I got so involved with music I thought 'hey maybe I could have that voice," she explained.
When she embraced her talent, she began winning competitions in New Jersey and New York, including the Big Joe Jersey Talent Show in 2008 at age 9. Hanvey was also selected by the NJ Nets as the most talented kid in the tri-state area after competing at the historic Apollo Theater in New York.
However, the immediate fame brought the shy teenager grief at school, and she said she endured her fair share of bullying. Hanvey said that's when she put her feelings to paper and wrote the song 'I'm That Girl.'
It's a song that has become her rallying cry in hopes of inspiring other bullied teens.
"It really means that you can have a dream and no matter what happens you can still pursue that dream and still work hard and um show people that nothing's impossible," said Stephanie.
You can listen to the song on her web page.
Without asking, Hanvey is quick to explain why she's entered such a fiercely competitive industry.
"I just want to share my gift to show young girls that they can have a dream and they can work hard and just to never give up on themselves."
FOX's American Idol begins airing on January 15th and 16th beginning at 8 p.m.