Syesha Raquel Mercado was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on January 2, 1987. Her mother Zelda, a former Motown backup singer.
After growing up in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida, she attended Booker High School for Visual and Performings Arts Theatre Program and Graduated with a Certificiate as a Performance Major in Sarasota, Florida where she appeared in various Productions.
At the 2005 Florida Theatre Conference and the 2005 South Eastern Theater Conference, Mercado won "Best Supporting Actress" for her role as the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical the Musical. Mercado also appeared as a contestant on the failed ABC talent show, The One: Making a Music Star in summer 2006.
|(Photo by Jyle Dupuis')|
She was the only female in the top 3 and was voted off on May 14 allowing fellow contestants David Archuleta and David Cook a chance to compete in the finale and joining Kimberley Locke as the female contestants to get voted off in the top 3 to allow two male contestants to compete in the finale. Despite good reviews from the judges, Mercado had been in the bottom three or two five times without being voted off, tying up with season one fellow 3rd place finalist, Nikki McKibbin, for the most weeks spent in the bottom three or two.
American Idol judge Simon Cowell, believed her style was more suited for Broadway than pop music. She completed the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008 which ran from July 1, 2008 to September 13, 2008. Afterwards, Mercado landed the lead role of Deena Jones in the U.S. national tour of Dreamgirls in 2009. The tour began at the Apollo Theater on November 7th that year.
Mercado released her first self-titled EP Syesha in August 2011, with the first single "Rock’d Up" being released in June. She also acted in her first film Dreams in 2011. Beginning performances December 11, 2012, Mercado opened the Chicago transfer production of Broadway musical Book of Mormon. She was a late addition to the cast, replacing Stephanie Umoh during rehearsals in the role of Nablungi. The production will embark on a national tour of the U.S. in late 2013.
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