Jaylene Johnson Makes It To Primetime Television

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While the rest of us vowed to go to the gym or stop coming in late to work, Winnipeg singer/songwriter Jaylene Johnson may have made an entirely different sort of new year's resolution. Johnson, who released her acclaimed sophomore album Finding Beautiful in March 2004, may have resolved to reach an entirely new audience with her music, and so far in 2005, she's done it twice. On January 7 and 28, her songs were featured on popular CBS primetime drama Joan of Arcadia, an impressive feat for a primarily self-represented independent Canadian recording artist.

According to Johnson, it all started on her trip to Calgary in late September 2004 for the 2nd annual Western Canadian Music Awards, where her album was nominated for Outstanding Christian Recording. While she didn't bring home the award, her showcase performance did get the attention of the people who would soon solicit her songs "Sit Awhile" and "Wonder" for two separate episodes of the TV show, a drama that follows the life of a teenage girl's conversations with God.

The January 28 episode, entitled "The Rise and Fall of Joan Girardi," will no doubt garner impressive audiences with a special guest starring role of teenage starlet Hilary Duff. This may offer Johnson exposure than many indie artists only dream of. While many songs in television soundtracks often get lost in the background, her song "Sit Awhile" - which aired on the January 7 episode - was a featured track running nearly two minutes during a poignant fantasy sequence, making the ethereal pop/folk song impossible to ignore.

Johnson, a former flight attendant who began her music career only five years ago, is no stranger to success. She has won international and national songwriting awards, including the Gospel Music Association’s Best Contemporary Christian Song of 2002 at the Academy of Gospel Music and Arts Seminar in the Rockies at Estes Park in 2002. She also performed at two of Canada’s Vibe Awards, sharing the stage with noted artists like Matt Brouwer, Carolyn Arends, Downhere and Manitoba's own JUNO-nominated rock act Starfield.

"As long as I can keep making music that will connect with people, I am happy," says Johnson in her artist bio. "Of course, it’s a wonderful honor to be recognized by the music industry, but the best reward is when my music touches someone’s heart… I’ll keep sharing my stories through song with that goal in mind.”

And thanks to a high-rated televison show watched by millions, Johnson will be able to share her stories with even more.

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