Unlike most performers, who fight for the spotlight; one humble, but talented woman consciously chose to stay in the background for most of her career. The vibrant and inspirational singer/actress, Crissy Collins, possesses a rare character trait—modesty.
Her gift was discovered by her family before the age of five and she admitted to AWP that her love for singing started young, but she preferred being a background singer.
“I loved singing, I loved the attention–I just didn’t want to be a lead singer. I wanted to be the background singer,” Crissy said. Her older sister took the lead and that was fine with Crissy. The girls and their aunt began performing for crowds after forming their first group, “The Collins Sisters & Compani”. “He Cares” was their first album (Meltone Records) and the exposure opened up doors for Crissy down the road.
It wasn’t until her adult years that Crissy decided to take a step out on faith and record an inspirational solo album. In 2007 “Faith in Progress” hit the stores and took her name recognition to the next level and to a new audience.
Singing isn’t her only gift. She tells others that she has always had a passion for acting.
Touring with Tyler Perry’s “Madea Goes to Jail,” she played the incarcerated Chico, and Tammi in “Madea’s Big Happy Family”. Collins has performed in stage plays such as, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” “Where Have All the Good Men Gone?” and “Love Should Have Brought You Home.”
As her talent brought more exposure and she stepped more into the spotlight, those around her were slightly confused and not sure how to support her. “At first they didn’t understand what I was doing and I didn’t understand what I was doing, because I have been doing plays for twenty years and I’ve been a background singer for almost the same amount of time,” she said.
Crissy is now able to share her vocal talent and songwriting skills with a gospel audience.
Fans love her version of “Yes, Jesus Loves Me, Even Me.” Some of her studio work includes vocals for popular films like “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “Madea’s Family Reunion,” “Daddy’s Little Girls,” and “The Family That Preys.”
Most fans recognize her name and work because she is a legend in her own way. Receiving support from her 17 year old daughter and other friends and family has kept her motivated.
Collins has sung background for several recognizable performers. “Faith in Progress” gave her that recognition. A few that she sang background for are Luther Vandross, Kelly Price, Monica, and Dorothy Norwood.
When asked to sing background for Beyonce, Collins thought the offer was a joke. “I thought it was a practical joke that the creative director who is also my friend, was playing on me, but then when I got there and I saw her [face], I was like ‘Oh okay, this is for real.” she said, “When I first met her it was totally surreal.”
Crissy has performed with Beyonce as one of a third of Beyoncé’s dynamic background vocals trio, “The Mamas.” Together, they have traveled the world for several world tours, including “The Beyoncé Experience”, “I Am…”, and “Beyoncé Live in London”.
Singing for so many well-known artists is what Collins calls an “honor.” She said, “It’s an honor that people have taken me seriously, wanting me to be a part of their team. Sometimes it’s overwhelming, but I’m never really star-struck, just more surprised.”
This journey hasn’t been an easy one and she is far from the finished line. Collins gives all of her honor to God. Considering herself a spiritual person, she believes it’s necessary to ask God for His guidance in all areas of her life. “I always ask God to make sure I am ready for every door that He opens up and let me understand it, give me the sense of mind to do what He wants me to do so that I can still be a light,” she said.
She credits her success by always putting God first. “The reason why and how I got to do the things that I’ve done and the things that I’m doing is because of the fact that God is in my life and I put him first,” she said.
Thanks to God, her family and friends, Crissy has been able to deal with the typical struggles of making it in the music industry. She has this advice for all the young aspiring artists, “Know the business, but first know who you are. Know what type of music you want to do, know what type of writing you want to write to, know what type of tracks you like, know it,”
She ended the interview by stating, “Everything I’ve done is a faith walk.”
To keep in touch with Ms. Collins, add her on facebook or follow her on twitter @CrissyCollins.
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