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Trenyce at a London photoshoot in 2012
Background information
Birth name Lashundra Trenyce Cobbins
Born (1980-03-31) March 31, 1980 (age 36)
Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Occupation(s) Actress, singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2002–present

Lashundra Trenyce Cobbins (/trʌnis/;[1] born March 31, 1980), is an American singer and actress. She rose to fame in 2003 after placing fifth in the second season of American Idol.

Early life[edit]

Trenyce was born in Memphis, Tennessee to Jesse and Linda Cobbins.[2] Her father and mother worked for St. Joe Company and FedEx respectively. As a child, Trenyce expressed a preference for her middle name as she felt it better suited her ambitions as a performer.[1] She described being attracted to music at a young age, such as performing a solo in a Martin Luther King, Jr. production and singing jingles.[1][2] Linda was initially uncertain about Trenyce's commitment to singing, but later decided to support her professionally.[1] In her senior year of high school, Trenyce's music teacher submitted her recording to the NAACP ACT-SO, a competition designed to promote academic achieve in African American high school students. Trenyce participated in the finals in Atlanta, where she received Babyface's business card and performed for Jennifer Holliday, and won first place.[1][2]

At the age of nineteen, Trenyce was arrested on felony theft charges. At the request of a Shelby County criminal court judge, she completed a pre-trial diversion program that expunged the charges from her record.[3] She later described the arrest as resulting from a miscommunication in which she confronted a co-worker about stealing from work. Trenyce later said she hopes the experience could serve a teaching tool for teens, saying: "Everybody has a past, but it's not about that. It's about what you do with your life after you've been given a second chance."[1]

After graduating from Central High School, Trenyce attended the University of Memphis on a music scholarship. While in college, she severed professional ties with Linda, who had previously guided her career, in favor of hiring a professional agent.[1] Trenyce joined the university's ensemble choir University Singers and its band Sound Fuzion, which toured throughout Tennessee.[2] Through the encouragement of her mother, she pursued a major in biology in order to become a "bone specialist" as an alternative for singing. After completing three years of the school's nursing program, Trenyce left the University of Maryland to completely devote herself to music. While Linda supported her daughter's decision, she advised her that she should return to the nursing program if she did not find success in the music business after a year. Trenyce began writing and recording songs while arranging meetings with professionals in the music industry and teaching herself the technical aspects of singing and recording.[1]


2002–03: American Idol[edit]

In October 2002, Trenyce auditioned for the second season of the reality television series American Idol. The audition took place over a course of three days in Nashville, Tennessee, in which she performed in front of the show's producers and executive producers and the three primary judges (Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Simon Cowell).[4] Trenyce then went on to become one of the top 32 semi-finalists,[4] and was chosen by Abdul as her "Wild Card" selection to advance further into the competition as a finalist.[5] Trenyce placed fith in the season after being the eighth constantant eliminated during the finals.[4] While on the show, Trenyce received criticism when her arrest was disclosed to the public. Producer Nigel Lythgoe denied the speculation that Trenyce would be removed from the series, as done previously with former participants Frenchie Davis and Jaered Andrews. Lythgoe said Trenyce told the producers about her arrest from the start of the show and that "we felt it warranted no concern regarding her participation in the show".[6] Jim Cantiello of MTV News listed the disclosure of Trenyce's mug shot and felony theft charges as one of American Idol's frequent "season scandals". Cantiello connected the newly revealed information to Trenyce's elimination, writing "America ends up doing the show's dirty work by voting her off".[7]

American Idol Season 2 performances and results
Week # Theme Song choice Original artist Order # Result
Top 30 Semifinal/Group 1 "Love Sneaking Up on You" Bonnie Raitt 4 Eliminated
Wild card "Let's Stay Together" Al Green 9 Paula Abdul's choice
Top 12 Motown "Come See About Me" The Supremes 11 Safe
Top 11 Cinema "I Have Nothing" Whitney Houston 3
Top 10 Country rock "I Need You" LeAnn Rimes 2
Top 81 Disco "I'm Every Woman" Chaka Khan 5 Bottom 2
Top 8 Billboard #1 "The Power of Love" Celine Dion 7 Safe
Top 7 Billy Joel "Baby Grand" Billy Joel 6 Bottom 3
Top 6 Dianne Warren "Have You Ever?" Brandy 3
Top 5 1960s
Neil Sedaka
"Proud Mary
"Love Will Keep Us Together"
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Captain & Tennille
  • ^Note 1 Due to Corey Clark's disqualification, no one was eliminated based on public votes.

Following her elimination, she appeared on various television shows such as Live with Regis and Kelly, Extra, ET, Fox and Friends, The Early Show, The Wayne Brady Show, the Pulse, Inside Edition, Good Day Live, the Today Show, and TRL. She was also featured in the Memphis periodicals Grace Magazine, Proud Magazine, and Party Source, and was named one of Memphis' 30 Most Beautiful People in Elite Magazine's June 2003 issue. After the season finale, Trenyce performed in a three-month concert tour along with the rest of the second season's finalists. She performed Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" and Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing".[4] Trenyce's rendition of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" was included on the compliation album American Idol Season 2: All-Time Classic American Love Songs (2003). AllMusic's Heather Phares praised Trenyce as one the "singers [that] turned in some of the better performances on the show", but was critical of her cover for having an "indistinct quality".[8] Trenyce was also featured on a cover of "God Bless the USA" along with various other American idol finalists.[8][9]

2004–present: Success with theatre[edit]

Trenyce became involved in theatre when she was offered a role in a play Not a Day Goes By which toured in 2004.[10] She also landed roles in The Vagina Monologues, Soul Kittens Cabaret, Mama’s Sweet Potato Pie and Invisible Life. In the summer of 2006, Trenyce starred as Deena in an Indianapolis production of Dreamgirls, produced by Bill Myers. This unique production was a joint venture that celebrated the cultural diversity of Indianapolis and was presented in two historic landmark venues; the Madame Walker Theatre and the Scottish Rite. This production received critical acclaim as "the best show Indianapolis has ever seen!"

In 2007, Trenyce played the role of Portia in the David E. Talbert stageplay, Love in the Nick of Tyme also starring Morris Chestnut, Ellia English, and R&B crooner, Avant.[11] A DVD was released, and the show has also been aired on BET.

Between July 22 and August 2, 2008 Trenyce and former Idol contestants Julia DeMato, RJ Helton, Frenchie Davis, and Rickey Smith performed at the Razz Room in San Francisco. Vonzell Solomon, Constantine Maroulis, and David Hernandez also appeared in the Razz Room from August 5–16.

Trenyce was cast in the 30th anniversary revival tour of Ain't Misbehavin' starring Ruben Studdard and Frenchie Davis that ran 2008-09,[12] the cast album of which was nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award.[13]

In 2010, Trenyce joined The West End Company's musical Thriller Live, a Michael Jackson tribute show in London's Lyric Theater as well as a tour in Europe.[14] She was cast in the role of Coach Podell in Kick-Ass 2. She said that playing a cheerleading coach took her back to the days of being a pom pom girl in junior high school. "They were looking for a middle aged white woman similar to Sue Sylvester from Glee, so I wasn't expecting to actually book the role" she stated in the Hollywood Reporter.[15]


  • Not a Day Goes By (2004)[10]
  • The Vagina Monologues
  • Soul Kittens Cabaret (2005)
  • Mama’s Sweet Potato Pie
  • Dreamgirls (2006, regional) as Deena Jones[16]
  • Invisible Life (2007)
  • Love in the Nick of Tyme (2007, national tour) as Portia[11]
  • Ain't Misbehavin (2008, national tour) as Charlaine[13]
  • Ballroom with a Twist (2009, national tour)[17]
  • Thriller – Live (2010-2013, London West End, European tour)[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Trenyce". Memphis Downtowner. Retrieved July 17, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d "American Idol's Trenyce Celebrates Chicago Pride". June 21, 2004. Retrieved July 17, 2016. 
  3. ^ ""American Idol" Finalist's Sticky Fingers". The Smoking Gun. March 27, 2003. Retrieved July 18, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Trenyce". BuddyTV. Retrieved August 21, 2016. 
  5. ^ Sewel, Rhonda B. (February 28, 2003). "Coleman fails in bid to be`Idol' wild card". The Blade. Block Communications. Retrieved August 21, 2016. 
  6. ^ Susman, Gary (March 28, 2003). "Here are the latest scandals from American Idol". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved August 21, 2016. 
  7. ^ Cantiello, Jim (February 19, 2008). "'American Idol' Video Timeline: Six Seasons of High Notes and Hot Messes". MTV News. Retrieved August 21, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Phares, Heather (April 15, 2003). "AllMusic Review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved August 21, 2016. 
  9. ^ "American idol : God bless the U.S.A". CLEVNET Library Consortium. Retrieved August 21, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Catching up with American Idol 2’s Trenyce
  11. ^ a b Variety - Love in the Nick of Tyme
  12. ^ Reality Check: 'American Idol's' Trenyce 'Aint Misbehavin'
  13. ^ a b Trenyce talks about ‘Misbehavin’ and Grammy nod
  14. ^ a b American Idol’s Trenyce Cobbins, A Singer, Actress, and “Diva” in the making!!
  15. ^
  16. ^ Indiana Black Expo Presents Trenyce in the Broadway Musical "Dreamgirls" - July 12, 2006
  17. ^ Too many wrong moves in 'Ballroom with a Twist'