Tag Archives: The Gap Band

Jai Fears (Singer, Songwriter, Actress) — The Story of a Survivor

Jai Fears is on the cusp of superstardom. A multi-talented Pop & R&B singer, songwriter, dancer, actress and model, Jai’s tenacious work ethic is the result of overcoming many obstacles in her childhood. From being homeless with her Mother at the age of 16, to being diagnosed with a rare skin disease, Jai has persevered to make quite a name for herself. Born and raised in Detroit, Jai developed an appreciation for the Arts at a very young age. Her Mother would play old school R&B records at home all the time, unknowingly predetermining Jai’s future dancing gigs with Motown greats Aretha Franklin and Charlie Wilson. At the age of 14, Jai flew to Los Angeles to compete in a national talent competition. With her first win under her belt, she was “bit by the bug.” Since then, she has danced with Nsync, Aretha Franklin and Charlie Wilson. In 2006 she performed at the Super Bowl 40 Pre Show with legendary Stevie Wonder and R&B sensation John Legend. She has opened up for Keyshia Cole, K Michelle, Ryan Leslie, Diggy Simmons, Charlie Wilson, The Gap Band and Melissa Morgan.

Performing at numerous sold out festivals and events hosted by Radio One’s Hot 107.5 and BET in Los Angeles, Venice Beach, Detroit and Chicago, Jai’s breakout performances were both in 2012 on BET’s 106 & Park “Wild Out Wednesdays” talent competition. Winning both times to a standing ovation, she snagged the coveted “ALL STAR FEMALE HIP HOP/R & B” title.

In 2012, she won “Best Female R&B Artist” at The Indie Music Channel Awards in Los Angeles. Other credits include being featured in national print ads for Nike and Degree Deodorant and on screen in major feature films “The Wood,” “MVP” “Oogieloves Big Balloon Adventure” and “Crossover.” Her explosive portrayal as Eboni in “Crossover” co-starring Wayne Brady and Eva Pigford has earned her several nods from movie critics. These days, Jai can be found on tour gracing the stage as a background dancer and choreographer for Grammy Award winning R&B singer Charlie Wilson – the former lead singer of the Gap Band. In between shows, Jai spends time recording new songs for her upcoming EP, teaching dance lessons to kids, and performing at local venues throughout the Detroit Metropolitan area.

On September 27th 2014, Jai was requested to put on a high-energy performance at the 2014 Fashion In Detroit event hosted by DODGE and Project Runway’s alum Joe Faris. Jai and her dancers did not disappoint. She performed Top 40 Pop hits by Britney Spears, Beyoncé, and Rihanna. At the conclusion of her performance, like so many before, Jai received a standing ovation and cheers from the crowd Jai Fears has had quite the journey. Looking back on the series of trials and tribulations she has endured, Jai understands she could not have made it without her unyielding determination and strong faith in God. Here’s what she had to say:

“I am a woman that has been through so many hardships in life. I literally feel like I can empathize with just about anyone dealing with any unfortunate situation. Growing up, I didn’t realize the reasons why I was going through so much heartache and experiencing life-altering situations. It wasn’t until later that I understood that God was preparing me for something greater. I was being tested. And because of that, I am a survivor. My purpose is to share my story with others to assure them that no matter what they have ever been through, they are not alone!”

#1 IF YOU HAVE LOST A LOVED ONE…YOU ARE NOT ALONE

“I can remember one early spring morning, at the age of 10, my grandmother entered my bedroom and fell to her knees near the edge of my bed. She stared in my eyes, and in panic told me to help her because she couldn’t breathe. She was drowning. Her lungs were filling up with fluid due to Pulmonary Edema disease… “… I remember screaming out loud for help. She laid her head in her hands, slid off my bed to the floor, and in a matter of seconds she died right there in front me. It was one of the most traumatizing experiences I’ve ever had. She meant so much to me. Also, the loss of my brother and step-father had a big impact on me. By the age of 20, I had lost several important figures in my life.

#2 IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN HOMELESS…YOU ARE NOT ALONE

After failing to meet a security deposit deadline on an apartment we were supposed to share with a friend, my Mother and I were left without any place to stay. During my senior year of high school, we spent nights sleeping in the car and filthy motels. It was a horrible experience. I remember one motel in particular was infested with roaches. It was so bad that the sounds of my Mother killing roaches in the morning served as my alarm clock to get ready for school. I promised myself that I would do everything in my power to get us out of that situation. I hated it. I didn’t tell many people about my living situation. Eventually, things did take a turn for the better. Through it all, I managed to graduate from high school with Honors. I believe our strong faith and determination is what helped us make it through. Looking back, it only made us stronger. Sometimes, my Mother and I sit and laugh about it, but back then it was no joke!

#3 IF YOU HAVE EVER HAD A DISEASE…YOU ARE NOT ALONE

On October 5th 2005, I woke up to what I thought was a case of the Chicken Pox. Little did I know, it was something so much worse. My entire body was covered in red bumps that would burst, leaving open sores of all different sizes. The sores caused excruciating pain. They would turn into scabs and my entire body would itch. I can remember years ago, when I was a hostess at a restaurant, I would uncontrollably scratch myself while trying to seat people. It was really embarrassing! Just wearing everyday clothes was painful. To make matters even worse, the University of Michigan Hospital – one of the top hospitals in the country – couldn’t even provide a diagnosis. All they could tell us was that I was suffering from a type of rare skin disease. Over the years, my skin condition has significantly improved and has practically healed completely on its own. These days I feel so much better, so much more alive, and I’m so blessed to have made it through. I owe it all to God!