As an ex-finalist on The X Factor (season 1 of the U.S. version), singer Stacy Francis is used to the drama of reality television. But as the newest cast member of TVOne’s R&B Divas L.A., Francis says people will see her in a “different way” as she joins Chanté Moore, Lil’ Mo, Michel’le, Chrisette Michele, Leela James and Christina “Brave” Williams for the series’ third season.
Says Francis: “It was quite the ride.”
The 45-year-old first considered the series last October when producer Phil Thornton, who became familiar with her from both X Factor and her presence on social media, reached out and asked if she would be interested in being on television again. Francis was intrigued by the idea of opening up her life to an audience.
“It was a little scary,” she tells Billboard. “Reality TV is its own thing, and being in competition on a singing show is different than doing this kind of reality show. They follow your life a lot more, and I don’t get to sing as much. This is more dialogue- and drama-driven … and more about me personally and my life and my kids and interacting with people. I had a really great time doing it.”
The show culminates in a concert that raises money for cancer research at the House of Blues. Francis, who has been honored by the Reverend Jessie Jackson and the Rainbow Push Coalition for her humanitarian work, is especially thankful that R&B Divas will give audiences a chance to see her in that light, adding that the show is giving her an opportunity to “defend my own character.”
Looking to the future, Francis has a new single, “I Still Believe,” and several projects in the works, including a skin care line and an experimental art piece with writer LalaNya Abner, which she hopes to launch in London or New York.