Lexi Allen is a Stellar Award-nominated contemporary gospel artist who is also known for her close association with the Word Network. Born Alexis Marie Nucklos in Columbus, Ohio, she was raised near her home state's northern border in Toledo, and started singing as a youngster in her grandfather's church. While enrolled at Bowling Green State, she recorded a demo and took it up Interstate 75 to Detroit, where she approached Michael Brooks. Brooks recognized Nucklos as a singer who had once opened for his group, Commissioned, and liked the demo enough to facilitate a deal with Polygram gospel subsidiary Lection. This resulted in the Brooks-produced album Call Her Lexi (1990), which skillfully applied commercial R&B production styles to faith-based lyrics, and naturally built from the sweetly powerful singer's previous background work with Gerald Levert, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, and Fred Hammond. Nucklos then took an extended break from music to concentrate on teaching. Beside husband Michael Allen as her primary creative partner, the singer -- still billed mononymously, but now known as Lexi Allen -- signed with Evander Holyfield's Real Deal label. Real Deal was the outlet for ...And That's the Way It Is (2000), her first release to register on Billboard's gospel chart, and Somewhere Different (2001). A Praise in the Valley (2005), issued through Holyfield's Holy Music venture, was the last project on which Lexi and Michael Allen worked together prior to the latter's death from cancer. The live recording was nominated for a Stellar Award. Studio sessions were fewer and farther between once Allen established a long-term affiliation with the Word Network as a host and presenter. She released her fifth album, What Heaven Hears (2007), for SugarWater, then linked with Malaco for Phenomenal (2012). By the time she signed with Motown Gospel and released the single "In the Room" (2018), Allen had built a social media following with videos uploaded to YouTube, such as the episodic Holy Ghost Enforcers and Ghetto Bewitched series, as well as other humorous clips. ~ Andy Kellman

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