Alexis Gomez, country artist from Centerville, Ohio and American Idol finalist (Season 14). CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Chris March
Photo: Chris March

BEST OF DAYTON 2018: Meet Dayton’s top rising stars

When it comes to homegrown talent, Dayton is blessed.

Not only have several famous actors, musicians and entertainers hailed from this area, but there is a new generation of up-and-coming stars.

These are the top three vote-getters in Dayton’com’s Best of 2018 contest for Best Local Rising Star.

Get to know these stars of tomorrow.


>> Food & Dining winners

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>> Arts, Music & Entertainment winners

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>> People & Places winners

🥇WINNER: Alexis Gomez

Alexis Gomez, a graduate of Centerville High School and Wright State University, was a Top 16 finalist on Season 14 of “American Idol” in 2015. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Chris March

Centerville and Wright State graduate Alexis Gomez is best known as the semi-finalist on the hit FOX show American Idol (Season 14). She also was a finalist in the Nash Next National Contest in 2016 to find the next Rising Country Star.

The multi-instrumentalist has been singing for as long as she remembers; as a teen she was already getting attention and winning contests close to home. 

She has opened for country artists including Randy Hauser, Montgomery Gentry, Midland, Cassadee Pope, Clint Black, Old Dominion and others.

“Alexis is truly an amazing diverse talent. You can find the barefoot beauty singing at local clubs and events, and a normal fixture at her church on Sundays,” said K99.1FM’s Nancy Wilson. “She is not only gifted but brings a fresh sound to country!” 

>> 5 country artists to watch

Tour dates: Click here

More info: WebsiteFacebookInstagramTwitter

🥈SECOND PLACE: Reyna Spears


Reyna Spears is a fixture on the Dayton music scene. She’s performed locally more than 1,000 times. She grew up as a missionary's daughter and spent much of her childhood in the Andes Mountains of Cajamarca, Peru. She grew up singing with her family in many churches around the United States and Peru, South America. 

Today, Spears is a working musician and songwriter. She is a single mom and also has her own accounting company.

She performs solo acts, appears as part of the Reyna and Dana duo with Dana Farley, and sings background vocals for a Pink Floyd Tribute Band called Signs of Life. She is also part of the classic rock cover band, Curious Animals and cover band Girl Pop.

Upcoming performances: Click here

More info: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

🥉THIRD PLACE: Tiffany Clark

Recovering heroin addict Tiffany Clark say her obsession with art has helped pull her from despair.  She and her boyfriend  Christopher Etch Weyrich, a local artist and DJ, often collaborate of works.  (Photo by Amelia Robinson)
Photo: Amelia Robinson

Tiffany Clark, a Fairborn native, is a local artist who credits art with saving her from the darkness of addiction. 

She has been one of the local artists behind a Dayton “mural revolution.” 

She also is an arts educator and was a speaker at TEDxDayton 2018.

“I just put my soul out there,” Clark said. “Eventually, not only was it good therapy for me, but I found people forgave me and understood me and saw my truth. The more they saw that and forgave me, the more honest I was. It was this great building up of people supporting people.”

>> Dayton woman: Art helped me recover from Dayton

More info: Facebook