Jan. 2, 2006 From the time she was 6 years old, singing was a major part of K'misha-Victoria Counts' life.
It was a talent that "blossomed" and led Counts, now 18, to the crown in the V.I. Carnival Queen Competition and earned her the title of Ms. Best Talent in the 2005 Miss World Competition.
"I've been singing since elementary school," Counts said Monday afternoon as she remembered participating in a talent show at the V.I. Montessori School. "It was my first time performing before a crowd."
The performance became the first of several for Counts. Though she did not grow up in a house with a musical ensemble her dad, Richard, is the director of marketing at Caribbean Lottery; her mom, Denise, is an attorney with the Justice Department; and her brother Richard II, is an engineering major at the University of Arizona Counts found herself enthralled with music.
"My father used to sing a little when he was in high school," Counts admitted, "but I'm the only one who sings, really."
From that first talent show at Montessori School and with the help of private voice lessons and choir classes at the Charlotte Amalie High School, Counts went on to various other performances, earning some titles on the way. While at CAHS, she formed a trio with two other high school students, and performed at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the summer of 2002. She won the Hal Jackson Talented Teen Competition in 2003 and also performed in Starfest 2003 and 2004.
In 2005, Counts outperformed four other contestants to be crowned Miss V.I. Carnival Queen. But by far, her favorite competition was the 2005 Miss World Competition. Although she did not win, Counts wowed the audience with her rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and won the best talent title.
"It was a culturally enriching experience because I got to meet people from all over the world," Counts said, adding she did not allow the language barriers to prevent her from making friends.
She said she was proud to represent her country while in China and to display her talents to a diverse group. She has now set her sights on achieving even better things.
"My goal is to become a singer/songwriter and hopefully be a music executive of my own recording company later in life," Counts said.
The recent CAHS graduate is now in her first year at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., working towards that goal.
"When I touch people with my music," Counts said, "that's the most important thing to me."
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