Drama students: Music greats can help better state's image

Drama students: Music greats can help better state's image

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The musical fight to the finish between two Mississippians ended Thursday night. Trent Harmon, of Amory, took home the title of being the very last American Idol.

LaPorsha Renee, of McComb, who many viewers considered the favorite, will have to settle for runner-up.

At the end of the finale, show host Ryan Seacrest's final words were "Goodnight America, for now." Could it be a hint that we may not have seen the last of "American Idol?"

Harmon's win opens doors to possibly becoming a Magnolia State musical legend.

It's news that makes residents proud to call Mississippi home, and a stark contrast to how many residents say the state's newly signed law makes them feel.

The faces of music legends like B.B. King, Faith Hill, Brandy, 3 Doors Down and Elvis Presley were all born in Mississippi.

"Mississippi produces some amazing artists," said Trevor Ladner, a 12th grade drama club student at Hancock High School. "Elvis came from a very poor family. He overcame that to become the king of rock and roll."

A Mississippian is now the newest American Idol. The last two standing contestants both hail from the Magnolia State.

"These artist get to share their soul, their Mississippi soul. There is such a deep musical culture here," explained Ladner.

It's perseverance, talent and a triumphal spirit that students in Hancock High School's drama club want the world to see when it thinks of their home state, and not house bill 1523.

During rehearsal for an upcoming musical production, they shared their thoughts about the new state law.

"I'm a straight female with two gay parents. I think the legislation is thinking gay people can't be Christian people, but yet I was raised in a household with Christian values where we pray before every meal we sit down to," explained Shelby Lee, a ninth grade drama club student.

"This legislation, this bill doesn't just affect the LGBT community. It affects our entire state. It's a step back in time, and it shows a side of us we've been working very hard to move past," senior Sierre Anton said.

They say Mississippi artists at the top of the music industry should use their talent to combat the image of the state now being broadcast around the world.

"If we send out the message that this legislation is not OK, through that, I think that's how we will make it better," remarked Lee.

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