A&E Writer

Crystal Aikin performing at a holiday luncheon in December 2013 (John Froschauer).
Crystal Aikin performing at a holiday luncheon in December 2013 (John Froschauer).

Pacific Lutheran University is known for producing a variety of successful alumni. One such prosperous Lute returned Feb. 12 to share her triumph with her Alma Mater. Gospel singer, Crystal Aikin, ‘97, appeared at Garfield Book Co. for a signing of her highly-anticipated album, “All I Need.”

“It is wonderful to be back home,” Akin said.

Aikin is a native of Tacoma and was first exposed to and began singing gospel music in the church.

“I was raised in the church,” Aikin said. “[Gospel] is just what we do.”

Aikin carried her love of singing with her to PLU. Although she was not a music major, Aikin sang in the University Chorale and the Choral Union under the direction of Dr. Richard Nance.

She graduated from PLU with double degrees in biology and psychology in 1997, and went on to pursue a career in nursing.

After spending many years working as a nurse in Tacoma, Aikin took a leap and auditioned for BET’s reality television contest “Sunday Best” in 2007. She was named the inaugural winner, gaining a recording contract with Zomba Gospel.

Since her win on national television, Aikin has released two successful albums – including her 2015 record, “All I Need.”

Aikin said she was pleased to come back and share her success with the people she credits the most.

“I feel like PLU contributed to the success that I have, so I think it’s best to come back to where it started,” Aikin said.

As for gospel, Aikin is committed to creating music in the years to come.

“[Gospel] is something very familiar to who I am as a Christian,” Aikin said. “Gospel music is home for me.”

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