“Life after ‘The Four’ has been amazing; I am just so blessed!” Evvie McKinney exclaimed!
Crowned the first-ever winner of FOX’s “The Four: Battle For Stardom” last February, McKinney’s debut single – “How Do You Feel” premieres this week. She’ll be performing it on the season finale of the music competition series, which airs August 2 at 8 p.m.
McKinney, who grew up in Orange Mound, entered as a challenger on the fifth of six episodes during the first season of “The Four.” She performed for a panel that featured Meghan Trainor, DJ Khaled and Sean Combs.
The gritty-voiced R&B singer – just 20 years old – wowed the judges with her fearless performances and vocal power. In addition to the “The Four” crown, McKinney was named iHeartRadio’s “On the Verge” artist and was awarded a recording contract with Republic Records.
Within hours of her winning selection, McKinney was back in Memphis at the Stax Museum, where she greeted family and friends and told them to “stay tuned.”
“I plan to go back out to Los Angeles to start working with Mr. Combs and Meghan Trainor,” she said at the time. “We plan on working on new material so I can have some great music.”
Well, here we are seven months later and Combs is projecting that McKinney’s debut single will be “a smash.”
She has guaranteed airplay on iHeartRadio as part of her prize. And now as a Republic Records artist, she will be part of mix that includes Ariana Grande, The Weeknd and Drake.
“This really is a blessing for me, because even before I got on the show I had prayed so long for this to happen,” McKinney said, referencing her new single.
“It’s just not an ordinary song. It’s a song that I went through. Everything that the song is talking about – the pain and the passion, it’s not fake; it’s really real.”
McKinney, who started singing as a preschooler, has pushed through the challenges of poverty, gang violence and drug abuse. A Soulsville Charter School alumnus, she credits God, her family, friends and her audiences for the energy and excitement on display at her live shows.
One of seven children, her late father, Tony McKinney, was a gospel and blues singer. Her brother, Gedeon Luke, is a soul/R&B singer, who tours with Gedeon Luke and The People.