Photo courtesy of Destiny Stone

Destiny Stone was one of the local creatives whose artistry graced TV screens in the first season of “Delilah” earlier this year.

Filmed and set in Charlotte last fall, the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series was one of North Carolina’s first productions announced after the entertainment industry stalled for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Delilah” starred Maahra Hill as the title character who balances life as a lawyer and single mother. 

Stone, an emerging singer-songwriter and producer, was originally connected to OWN through her agent, Dennis Reed Jr. As a college student, she performed in Reed’s gospel choir.

“When Dennis reached out to me about the show, for a split second, I was like, ‘My music is not that good. They’re not going to like my music.’ But thankfully, I got over that thought,” the 24-year-old recalled during a recent phone interview.

It became real once “Delilah” executive producer Charles Randolph-Wright, a native of York, South Carolina, and Charlotte City Council member Braxton Winston, who worked as a member of the production crew, both called to let her know that the show wanted to use her music.

Stone experienced moments of doubt, thinking viewers wouldn’t notice her vocals playing in the background. 

“I had to come back to reality and, honestly, encourage myself. Everybody doesn’t get their music placed on a nationally watched show,” she said.

Her music career started at age 17 with the release of her first single. She grew up in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and moved to North Carolina to attend Catawba College in Salisbury. After graduating in 2018 with a degree in popular music, she decided to stay in the area for Charlotte’s budding music scene.

She released her album, “The Girl in the Purple Glasses,” in May 2020. She wrote and produced the project alongside her husband, Daniel King. “Delilah” features three songs from the album, including the ode to her husband, “Daniel’s Song.”  

In addition to creating her own music, Stone is a music teacher at Knox Middle School in Salisbury. Her students’ first question after learning their teacher was part of a TV show: “Are you famous now?”

She’s setting an example for her students and teaching them how to believe in themselves, a lesson she has learned throughout her seven years in the music industry.

“That’s the beautiful thing about being a teacher,” she said. “I still get to teach and plant seeds in potentially young musicians, but at the same time, I still have that flexibility to work on my music career. I just hope they can feel encouraged, like, ‘If my music teacher can do it, then I can do it.’”

This summer, she plans to go on her first music tour in her home state of Mississippi. Also a Mississippi native: Oprah Winfrey.

Thinking back on her “Delilah” experience, Stone said that networks should utilize local creatives as often as they can. 

“You never know, you could be playing the music of the next superstar.”

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