Before she became a Christian music star, Moriah Peters was best known as the “American Idol” contestant who’d never been kissed.
Peters’ intentional story of standing for purity and virtue in Hollywood was inspirational for thousands of Christians, who embraced her decision to save her first kiss for her wedding day.
The 21-year-old singer from Chino, Calif., auditioned for the Fox television show in 2010 during her senior year of high school. The judges told her they liked her voice but that she needed real-life experience.
“One of the comments was, ‘You need to go into the world and make some mistakes.‘ One of the judges told me to go out and kiss a guy. I knew that was God, closing a door.”
The door reopened when Peters made connections after the audition and put together a three-song demo to take to record labels.
“And every single label made me an offer,” she told the Denver Post. “That was insane and unheard of. God answered my prayers.”
Peters wound up signing with Reunion Records in Nashville. She released the album “Choose Jesus” in 2012. The single, “I Choose Jesus,” reached No. 11 on the Billboard Christian sing chart. She also was the voice of the “VeggieTales” character Vanna Banana in “Princess and the Pop Star.”
She was part of the Rock and Worship Roadshow in 2012 as the opening act. She was singing to crowds and audiences who were making their way into the arena and venues, sometimes listening to her; sometimes not.
“I learned a ton,” Peters told the Post. “No. 1 is, when I’m up on stage, it’s important to first realize that you can’t communicate with everyone in the audience, especially in the opening slot.
“So I prayed, ‘God even if it’s just one person, let me plant that seed. Let everything about me bring attention to you.’ If you start thinking it’s about me and my music you will get in real trouble. You get down on yourself if you mess up… It’s not about me it’s about the people who come and connecting the dots to God,” she told the newspaper.
Now she’s attending Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, pursuing a degree.
And Peters is no longer the singer who never has been kissed. She and boyfriend, For King and Country singer, Joel Smallbone, were married July 7.