One thing that inspirational artist Alexis “Lexi” Allen knows for sure is that as long as she has Jesus, nothing is impossible. And with her beautiful voice, magnetic personality, compassionate spirit, and new album, Phenomenal, the possibility of everything is right at her fingertips.
Born and raised in Columbus, OH, Lexi began singing as a young child in her grandfather’s church. Her faith has always been the most important thing in her life and it was through singing in the church and with various choirs and groups throughout high school (including the trio Anointed) that Lexi began to really cultivate her talent. But at first, she wasn’t exactly sure what to do with that extraordinary talent.
“Back then, I don’t know if I ever thought that I was going to be a gospel artist,” Lexi says. “I just knew that I wanted to sing. It wasn’t until after I graduated from high school that I wanted to sing professionally and then started making efforts toward it.”
While in college, Lexi’s friend, Buddy Banks, who was part of the group Rude Boys at that time, introduced her to Gerald LeVert and she ended up flexing her vocal skills in front of late R&B singer and his father Eddie. They loved her voice and she began singing background for Gerald. “He would throw me the mic to sing sometimes,” Lexi remembers. “We had such a good time on stage. It was great.” Lexi went on to sing background vocals for Fred Hammond and Vanessa Bell Armstrong.
But even after those singing stints, Lexi still wasn’t sure what to do next. After college she went back to school to get her teaching degree and shortly after became an English teacher. But God had different plans for her. She met and married Michael Allen, a music producer, who attended her church and convinced her to continue singing and writing to develop her distinctive musical sound. She landed a record deal with Evander Holyfied’s label, Real Deal Records, and with Michael as the producer, released the 2004 critically acclaimed “A Praise in the Valley,” which garnered Lexi and Michael a Stellar Gospel Music Award nomination. The pair remained busy, signing jingles for the Word Network and releasing the 2005 follow up to “A Praise in the Valley,” titled, “What Heaven Hears.”
Unfortunately tragedy would soon strike the couple. While recording the third project for Holyfied’s label, Michael was diagnosed with Stage 4 of a rare form of cancer. He was given six months to live, but fought on for two years. With a young son and the love of her life gone, Lexi felt like giving up. “His death changed everything for me. Afterwards I didn’t sing for a few years. I had an outer body experience,” she admits. “I checked out. We were only married for almost five years and he was healthy for only two of those. I was mad at God for a long time and it took a long time to get over it.” But it was her faith that helped her through the difficult period. “Other than my son and my mom, faith was really all I had.”
So what did God have in store next for Lexi? Her own weekly talk show on the Word Network called The Lexi Show (now in it’s sixth season) where she gets to have intimate conversations with some of Black Hollywood’s and the Gospel music industry’s elite; an entertainment correspondent gig on Radio One’s syndicated program The Yolanda Adams Morning Show; her own company, Front Line Productions, which buys air time for ministries; and financed the appropriately titled Phenomenal, her latest solo project.