Twenty years ago, when I first heard Gianna Sturrup sing ABCDEFG as a kindergarten classmate, I didn’t think much of it. By the time we hit middle school however, she was able to hit ABCDEFG on command and without someone playing the key to remind her. Though I still have the privilege of going back and forth with two crazy nicknames we gave each other during a crazy day in detention (which are far too embarrassing to reveal in our professional capacities), it truly is a proud moment to call her Gia Miran and shrug off her new found fame with a “Well it’s about time she went all out with that voice of hers!”

This weekend, Gia Miran is going from a girl who came from Eleuthera, the island Lenny Kravitz calls home away from home with about 10,000 people, to one of the opening acts for R&B crooner R. Kelly when he hits The Bahamas in his first ever concert there, Celebration of Love.

Gia Miran is well deserving of the honor having honed her skills at an early age and looking to Mariah Carey for as a vocal inspiration. It’s also a delight to see someone you sat in the girls’ dorm at boarding school watching yet another chapter of R. Kelly’s Trapped In The Closet, step out of her closet and onto the world stage as the Caribbean dance/pop queen.

“It’s a feeling I can’t explain!” she squealed when asked how it feels to be opening for R. Kelly. “I’m a big fan of his, but then again, who isn’t? It’s kinda teen corny to say, but he’s had some of the most epic songs in R&B.”

“I have always hoped and prayed for something like this,” she said when asked if this is a dream come true for her. “Now it’s here, and I’m so humbled that I was one of the few chosen to open.”

Despite, all the years of knowing Gianna before she became Gia Miran, she put a quick smile on her face and refused to say which of her hit songs taking The Bahamas by storm will be performed.

“If you really want to know what I’m singing you will just have to come out and see the show!” she laughed. “It’s a surprise. I’m ready. I’ve been ready for an opportunity like this for a long time!”