Surrounded by music since childhood, her late grandfather Harvey Kaplan co-founded sixties pop sensation Spiral Starecase, renowned for the hit “More Today Than Yesterday.” Meanwhile, her mother—a.k.a. Brenda K. Starr—rose to the forefront of the eighties freestyle movement with smashes such as “I Still Believe” and “What You See Is What You Get.” Mom even brought a young Gianna on stage to sing during dozens of shows.
At the same time, the budding talent cultivated her own palette, drawing influence from jazz pillars such as Etta James, Sam Cooke, and Ray Charles as well as powerhouse voices like Whitney Houston, Céline Dion, Ariana Grande and Carrie Underwood. She cut her teeth by appearing in competitions around the state, and developing her abilities in a high-pressure environment which set the stage for a successful run on American Idol. With a debut EP on the way and more surprises in store, Gianna’s story has only just begun.