Dedicated, determined, inspirational

Fox5 Atlanta's news team has a songbird in its midst. She's performed the National Anthem before an Atlanta Falcons game. She's been featured as a guest soloist with both the DeKalb County Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She opened for The Temptations at North Carolina's first R&B Festival. She'd even had a record deal singing pop music at the age of 18.

But it wasn't until about 10 years ago — after her husband Lee Norris Rayam was tragically murdered during a robbery attempt on their second wedding anniversary — that singing gospel became a serious goal for anchorwoman Lisa Rayam.

"Gospel music served as a place of healing for me," Rayam says. Supportive friends and relatives, including her producer Kelvin Broughton, encouraged her to pursue her new dream. Through the nine cuts of contemporary and traditional inspirationals on her debut CD Just As I Am, she's baring it all for listeners, sharing the music that truly stirs her soul.

"Music has always been a part of my life," she says. "I've been singing since I was 4 years old when my parents placed me in the 'Jewel Choir' at Tanner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Phoenix ... and it has always been a passion." Her passion is discernible when she skillfully delivers album tracks like "God is Watching," "Just As I Am," "Anywhere" and "Give Us This Day."

Rayam has never been shy about her talent, "It's always been a part of who I am." So along with reporting the news, being mother to Jordan and Kamryn and wife to now-husband Derwin Tucker, she's also establishing herself as both a gospel artist and producer with the release of her independent debut.