My name is Dana Vaughns ll the son of Dana & Joni Vaughns. I was born at 7:50am on January 2nd in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. I’m an only child who grew up in a loving environment. I never realized until being older how much sound minded parents have played a role in my character. Growing up and even more today I’m relied on to bring peace and a fresh breath of inspiration to my peers. In my neighborhood as a kid I had the nickname of “ Dr. Phil “ eluding to my abilities to see problems from third perspective and divvy out advice. I’ve always had a passion for being an example of greatness. It’s something that motivates me. I always say “If you know better you have to do better” and I keep growing, so I keep on showing.
Growing up I played basketball and fell in love with the art of dance when I was 6 years old. This was the beginning of the future you could say. With my parents being supportive and following my heart they got me involved with a local dance studio in Madison, MS which was where we were living at the time and I was hooked. It was there that I got my feet wet in multiple styles of dance but my favorite was hiphop. Fast forward 3 years we are living outside of Charlotte, NC and I find my way to dance convention called “ Monsters of HIP-HOP “ which is where I’d ultimately get discovered by award winning choreographer Jamal Sims. He put me in the record breaking “ Hannah Montana “ movie and was responsible for me having my first big time agent and putting me in my first professional gig.
The demand in 2008 for adult level dancing kids wasn’t very high so after spending a 3 month stay in LA the summer after the movie, I was booking everything! God really made sure I had no choice but to stay. I’m so thankful this was my experience and not some family who forced their kid into the industry to satisfy some long lost dream. No matter what the newest, coolest opportunity I had was. The priorities stayed the same! Good grades, good behavior, or this would all be taken away. For the first 4 years of me being in LA it was just my beautiful mother and I. My dad had business on the east coast that had to handled in order to be granted a relocation to Cali. During this time I was doing everything from being the face of Kidzbop, dancing with the likes of Chris Brown & the Jabbawockeez, national commercials, and training under the best choreographers & acting coaches in LA. Funniest thing of all… My heart always knew there was something deeper to be uncovered.
So 2012 roles around and I’m being scouted for a boyband put together by Simon Fuller (American Idol), Jamie King (Michael Jackson), and Perez Hilton (Celebrity Blogger). After two weeks of sending a representative out to scope Millenium Dance Complex they finally found me. So here’s the catch! I had to sing… At this point in my life I hadn’t sung even for fun in the shower, or in the car since I was also six. It’s all due to a small video I was a part of for my elementary school and we had to sing “This Little Light of Mine”. They’ve me no heads up and the pressure was enough to shut me up for 6 years of my life. I turned down the opportunity at first due to my fear but God knew what to do to get me to choose other wise.
The group was called IM5. When I say it was the most incredible experience. I truly mean it! I toured the USA 3 times, made hundreds of thousands of fans and connections, and met so many amazing artists and people around the globe. My level of professionalism in front of the camera was at an all time high. Having to finish high school while also having 7 hour rehearsals each day for 9 months, to then record and tour and do interviews, meet n greets, etc. There is no way I’m not seasoned for where I’m headed! Growing up as a young man while being surrounded by the fast life had its perks and its downfalls. I’m grateful that God never let my downfalls derail Destiny!
The year is 2016. I left the group, I took a year off for the first time in 8 years and I’m only 18. You tell me what you would’ve felt like? I had so much time to just think about life and where I needed to go. It was a vulnerable time because the transition of being in demand at all times and only wanting what I needed instead of knowing what I wanted, to choosing my path brought some trials. I guess you could say this was the first time in my life I was tempting God more than ever. I was so aware of His goodness that when I was given more authority I thought somehow it was now on me to control my own grace. WRONG! God has proven himself time and time again to me that His way is worth waiting on and I’m blessed to be alive today to tell the story.
In 2019 I dropped my first solo project called “Familiar Strangers”. A six song EP that dove deep into the heart of a 21 year old “lover-boy” facing the reality of being in love with someone he hasn’t even spent much time face to face with. This EP is still my most recognized amassing over 10 million streams & still being played years later. I’ve went on to play Fresh Edwards in BET’s “American Soul” swell as Netflix hit show “Never Have I Ever” as Marcus Jones. My single “Girlfriend” from my sophomore EP “Love So Different” was actually featured in the finale episode of season 2 of the show! While all that is happening I was also in Kanye West’s Sunday Service performance at Coachella, Cardi B & Offset at the BET Awards, Nipsey Hussle’s Grammy Tribute, Lil Baby’s Grammy, SuperBowl w/ The Weeknd, and the iconic LA Super Bowl in 2022!
Underneath all my accolades and memorable moments, was a burning desire to share with those why they love being around me and the reason I have been afforded so many blessings. It’s the light! I’d have to write a whole book to describe the ways God has spoken to me through life whether it be visions, knowledge, prophecies, and just simple reflection but at the end of 2021 I said enough is enough. I had this incorrect idea that I’d have to keep my revelation of Jesus Christ under wraps and then when I accept my Grammy I’ll shut down the award show with my speech/prayer! God laughed and said that my life is made to be enjoyed in how He designed me as well. For so long I misunderstood what having a servants heart meant. It doesn’t mean to just serve people and neglect your own calling. Rather to serve God according to the Grace that is inside of me which naturally overflows into helping others.
So I’m now able to do everything I want because I’m not being silent about who is making it all possible. 2022 is the year I was able to establish how I wanted to live this life. God first and everything else when he says! The Bible says He will give us the desires of our heart. Key word, “He” not we. SO many times we try to manage our own happiness instead of leaving it up to the One who is the source of all. I’m excited to have started a company called “Yaaam Frances” centered around the secret Vaughns family recipe passed down by my grandmother before she passed. As well as stepping into ministry as a spiritual leader for many and counting through discipleship and worship. I’m more refreshed than ever to be the worlds healthiest celebrity in all dimensions of the body, soul, and spirit beyond. I wrote one time, “Shine your light so that others may find their own.” So that’s exactly what I’m going to continue to do!