One audition propelled Gary native Glen Kimble ll from a maintenance supervisor to a singing sensation.
Kimble auditioned in January for the “Mazda6 Dare to Dream: Search for a Star” singing competition hosted by Chicago's WLS-TV talk show Windy City Live, and by Friday, he had emerged the winner from a field of 1,000 area contestants.
Kimble, 26, received a fully-loaded 2014 Mazda 6 automobile, studio equipment totaling $500 and a recording session at Cassette Co. Studios that will reviewed by an executive at Warner Bros. Records for a possible recording contract.
“I watch the show, but I never intended to try out. I don’t like to compete when I sing - I only sing for fun,” Kimble said after his win.
“But because I really like the show, I just gave it a shot to see how far I could go. I had no idea I would get as far as I did.”
Television crews were in Gary on Feb. 13, filming footage of Kimble’s childhood home, Michael Jackson’s first home and Kimble's fans gathered at Gary City Hall.
“I had no idea that I had so many people backing me. It’s funny to hear people say they are a fan of mine,” Kimble said of his popularity in the contest decided by viewer votes on Facebook.
“There was so much amazing talent in that competition. Honestly, I never get over the stage fright. I was nervous to the bone!
“But when I get on stage, I channel that nervousness into energy, I connect with the song, and I just let myself go,” he said.
A 2004 graduate of West Side High School in Gary, Kimble also sang and danced in performances held by the West Side Theatre Guild.
He went on to attend Ivy Tech Community College, and is currently enrolled in the Sheet Metal Union Local #20 Apprenticeship Program. He is also newly employed as a maintenance supervisor at Brickshire Apartments in Merrillville, where he now resides.
“My co-workers are just a joy to be around and they are extremely supportive. I love my job and I promised not to leave, ever. But they don’t believe me,” he said.
As for his future singing career, Kimble has no immediate plans.
“I’ve been contacted by a few producers on Facebook, but I’ve just been laying low for the moment. The competition was so much fun, but all the publicity does get a little tiring,” he said.
“I sing for fun. It’s just a part of me. We’ll just see where life leads me.”
To nominate someone for this feature, contact email@example.com.