Thursday, January 26, 2023
StarQuest Singing Competition Returns with ‘Salute to the Legacy of Motown’  
By  Kimberlee Buck, Staff Writer 
Published August 17, 2017


Taste of Soul’s Starquest competition judges on stage with child winner, Chloe Ros-ton (center, right wearing overalls) with last years competitors. (photo courtesy of Keith St. Cyr)

South Los Angeles’ premiere singing competition, StarQuest returns to the 12th annual Taste of Soul (TOS) Family Festival with a salute to the legacy of Motown.

“Over the past few years, hundreds of vocalists have auditioned for a coveted slot as a finalist in the StarQuest singing competition,” said StarQuest producer Pat Shields. “We’ve been the vehicle for L.A. to showcase the exceptional talent we have in this city and for the contestants to build their fan base by performing in front of thousands of people at one of the largest music and food festivals in the country.”

Founder and creator of the Taste of Soul, the StarQuest Talent Competition, and the executive publisher and chairman of the Los Angeles Sentinel, Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. says the level of talent at the singing competition has exceeded his expectations and anything he could have ever imagined.


“Our adults and kids competition has become a platform and created opportunities for not only our winners but our participants to be exposed to opportunities they otherwise would have never had a chance to participate in,” he said. “Our StarQuest Family has gone on to be featured in national commercials, been awarded recording contracts as well as made numerous recording deals with national producers all over the country. I am excited to see what this year’s talent pool delivers.”

Fans encourage a young StarQuest 4 Kids contestant at the 2016 StarQuest Singing Competition. (Photo courtesy of Keith St. Cyr)

This year, the singing competition will continue to provide a monumental platform for Southern California’s rising stars at the 2017 TOS Family Festival in October. In honor of the 2017 TOS Family Festival theme, “Salute to Motown”, StarQuest is asking participants to sing a Motown song of their choice when auditioning.

“With this year’s theme being a ‘Salute To Motown,’ where all of the contestants have to perform classic Motown songs, we’ll see vocalists of all ages singing the songs of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Jackson Five, Four Tops, Temptations, Miracles, Martha & The Vandellas, Supremes, and on and on.  There’s such a deep catalog of songs to choose from and I am excited to see what our contestants bring to the stage at the auditions on September 23rd and 24th,” said Shields.

Interested participants can audition three different ways; online, through the mobile app and in-person.

In-person auditions will be held for ages five and older Saturday, September 23, at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday, September 24, from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Participants interested in auditioning online or through the mobile app can upload a video singing their favorite Motown song at or download the Taste of Soul mobile app from the Apple or Google Play Store. Contestants are asked to upload a :45 second video singing a Motown song of their choice.

One online/mobile app adult and one online/mobile app kid will be chosen to perform in the finals at this year’s Taste of Soul. Everyone who auditions on the mobile app and online who does not win, will receive a priority audition at in-person auditions being held at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

Nine finalists will be selected at live auditions, and one finalist will be selected online to perform at their tribute to Motown live on the StarQuest Stage at the 2017 Taste of Soul Family Festival on Saturday, October 21st. Two grand prize winners will perform their tribute to Motown on one of the Taste of Soul radio partner stages – Radio FREE 102.3 KJLH or 94.7 The WAVE – on Saturday, October 21st. All grand prize winners will receive a cash prize.


Here’s what some of your past winners have been up to:

Since winning last year’s StarQuest for 4 Kids competition, Chloe Roston has been invited to sing at churches around the L.A. area. She has also taken singing lessons with the legendary artist Jackie Gouche.

Chloe Roston won the children’s portion of the Star-quest competition last year. (photo courtesy of Keith St. Cyr)

“We have been on a high ever since and it is because of the Taste of Soul [StarQuest Singing Competition],” said mother of Roston, Charisse Green.

In 2015, entertainer Tia Parchman (Tia P.) graced the StarQuest stage. Since then, she has performed at sold out shows, appeared in a Pepsi commercial with singer Tori Kelly, a Sprite commercial with NBA player LeBron James, and a mattress commercial that is currently running and more. Now Parchman is focused on creating new music for her EP series “Peek-a-boo,” and interacting with her growing fan base. She encourages this year’s StarQuest participants to, trust their gift.

“A no doesn’t mean a no forever,” she said.

That’s not all, in 2014, 17-year-old Tim Johnson Jr. appeared in the Disney stage play the, “Lion King”, landed a role in the Nickelodeon television series, “Bella and the Bulldogs”, and appeared in the 2017 film, “Fist Fight” with actors Tracy Morgan, Ice Cube and Charlie Day.

For contest rules and information visit 

Categories: A Taste of Soul | Crenshaw & Around | Exclusive | Family | Local | News | News (Family)
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