By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 22-year-old Pottstown woman is blazing trails on a gospel competition TV show that airs on BET. KYW Community Affairs reporter Cherri Gregg sat down with the young singer about her journey to the small screen.
It took less than 15 seconds for the judges on BET’s Sunday Best to say yes to Candace Benson.
“I was just like, this has to be a dream,” she says.
A music education and audio production major at Montgomery County Community Community College, Benson’s talent was clear even as early as age two.
“She started humming before she could talk,” says Sharon Benson, Candace’s mother.
Sharon says she enrolled Candace in piano lessons when she was four-years-old. The budding songstress then got experience singing in choirs, bands, at church and with her family as one part of the Benson singers.
“Candace lived and breathed music,” says Sharon, “we have loads of instruments at the house and anything anyone played, she wanted to play it.”
Fast forward 18 years and the Pottstown High School grad beat out thousands of would-be gospel stars, making it into Sunday’s Best Final 10 and now, she’s in the Top 5. And the judges love her.
“Miss Kim Burrell, I love her, Pastor Donnie McKlurklin, he’s awesome,” she says, noting when McKlurklin heard her sing for the first time, told her “yes” for everyone.
“I can’t believe this, it’s surreal,” says Candace, “but I had to focus, I really couldn’t think about it.”
Candace says she remembers little about actually being on-stage. She doesn’t eat before she performs and when she’s singing, Candace says it’s an “out of body experience.” She described the other contestants as “family,” saying there was mutual respect. But Candance says she, like the rest of the finalists, are there to win.
“This really put more fire in me to keep going,” says Candace, “this doesn’t end here ..no matter what the result is…I’m going to keep going, albums will be dropped, songs will be played.”
Watch Candace tonight on Sunday Best on BET at 8pm.
Listen to the complete interview with Candace Benson: