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Nicole Vanessa Ortiz, who was born and raised in New Jersey, developed a passion for the arts at a very young age. Her biggest artistic influence since childhood was none other than the legendary Whitney Houston alongside other iconic artists such as: Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Luther Vandross, Celine Dion and many more. When she began to study her craft to be the aspiring artist that she is today, she eventually established a versatile taste in music as a result of being exposed to many genres such as: Gospel, Blues, Jazz, DooWop, Soul, R&B, Pop, Rock, as well as Musical Theater.
While studying voice under Michael D’Amore, her father, she entered her first televised talent competition in NJ with the “NJN Hispanic Youth Showcase” at the age of 11. This provided her the opportunity to win scholarships for college and by the time she turned 18 yrs old she had achieved her title as a 4 time vocal champion for the television contest. After graduating grammar school she was accepted in to Arts High School of Performing Arts in Newark, NJ where she studied music and voice under the direction of Dr. Jerry Forderhase. In addition to studying music in high school she would also participate in various workshops at the NJPAC studying voice and acting with voice professional Terrence Kennedy and theater professional Christian Ely where she would work on becoming the multi-dimensional artist she aspired to be. As a result of her various training she went on to making several musical theater appearances at the Newark Symphony Hall with independent theater companies such as African Globe Theater Works, Diversity Youth Theater, and several other productions like “Black Nativity” and “Once upon a Motown” which was directed by Lenora Rafua Brazel. At one point during her high school years, her powerful solos and roles at the Newark Symphony Hall earned her praise reports in the Star Ledger’s Entertainment section as “NJ’s Most Talented Female Musical Theater Performer.” In 2004 she became Newark’s first “Newark Idol” which was a Newark Public High School Talent Show that used the “American Idol” theme to offer students the chance to show their talents. Shortly after winning Newark Idol in 2004 she auditioned for American Idol and came in as a Top 30 finalist in 2005 (Season 5). After coming home from her American Idol experience she went on to becoming NAACP ACTSO State winner of Contemporary Vocals in NJ, NJ State recipient of Excellence in Music, to winning 1st Place in Paterson, NJ’s “Black and Gold Idol 2” hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha and placing as one of the top 5 finalists of the “Star Ledger Scholarship” in 2006. After graduating high school Nicole continued giving back to her community, performing at various political and charitable events throughout the New York Metropolitan area. She is currently an annual performer for the African Development Foundation Annual Dinner Event hosted by George Ntim, at the Marriot Marquis in New York City, which has attracted an audience of celebrity athletes to raise money for children in Ghana.
Today she currently stands as the 1st Grand Prize Winner of Empire City Casino Lucky Break Season 1, 1st Grand Prize Winner of "Wendy's Next Great Voice" 2012 on the Wendy Williams Show, 2012 Super Top Dog Finalist of Amateur Night at the Apollo, and 1st Place winner of Amateur Night Goes to London at the Apollo. As a result of winning 1st Place she has had the opportunity to appear on Good Day New York, win a trip to London, England to perform at the Hackney Empire Theater, and has recently been seen on BET’s new TV Reality Talent Show “Apollo Live” singing "I Will Always Love You" in tribute to Whitney Houston. As a result of her moving rendition to Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" she has also been invited to go on tour by the legendary Gladys Knight herself! In the meantime she continues to perform at various venues including performing at the Apollo Theater and more. In addition to her performing, she is looking forward to releasing her debut solo album in the near future.