Your background, including the city or neighborhood you hail from, does not have to determine your future – a fact former Oprah Pop Star Challenge winner Lashell Griffin knows well. Hailing from Detroit, home to legendary performers including Aretha Franklin, The Clark Sisters and Winans Family, Griffin’s story has been inspirational to many. Not only has the wife and mother of five been able to tour and record with her family but, she has also performed for President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys and recently the 2009 Gracie Awards in New York. It was however, perseverance and determination that led the Detroit native to success. In celebrating Black Music Month and those who came before her in the famed music and ‘Motor City’, Lashell admits The Clark Sisters, Aretha Franklin and so many other natives, some unsung as well, have provided inspiration. “One of the things I think about when I think about those artists is they started with nothing and they grew into where they are now,” Griffin tells Singersroom. “It came with hard work and determination. I have taken note and admire all of them. There are so many more who have gone unmentioned but, that encourages me to press on.” Even with the uncertainty of the economy and headlines plaguing the legendary city, Griffin wants everyone to realize that success does not have to determine your future. “You can come from the worst side of the block but, if you’re determined to succeed, your background should not dictate your future. Your neighborhood, color of your skin; or city you live in should not dictate your success.” For more on Singersroom’s Black Music Month Celebration, including interviews with Bryan Michael Cox, Nona Hendryx, Teena Marie, Ginuwine and Chanj click HERE. Lashelle Griffin’s latest effort “Dreams Are Possible” is in stores now or via lashellegriffin.org.