Leah Marlene Says She Loves Her New Place & Roommates
Nashville is familiar territory for Marlene, who enrolled in 2019 at Belmont University to study songwriting for two years there. In 2021, she auditioned for “American Idol” and received a ticket to Hollywood, rolling through each round of the competition with flair. But shortly after moving to L.A., she vulnerably posted on social media that she was struggling with seeing fellow contestants land record deals and concert tours while she received no offers.
“I have been working my ass off nonstop to make something happen out of this and I feel like I’m going in never ending circles,” she wrote. “I feel very misunderstood by the industry and it has made me question everything about who I am and what I want.”
After some serious soul-searching, the 21-year-old decided she needed to live in Nashville for a while, so she gave up her sublease in L.A. In an Instagram Live session on September 11, Marlene gave fans the scoop on her latest move.
“My heart’s in L.A. I love L.A.,” she said from her new rental in Nashville. “But it just made sense career-wise to be here right now. And I feel so good about it. Like, it really was a very hard decision to make and I was on the fence about it for a while.”
Marlene has three female roommates, including fellow “Idol” alum Kailyn Roberson, who was eliminated from the competition during Hollywood week. Marlene called her new roomies “amazing, wonderful people.”
“I didn’t even know two of them. I didn’t even know their names before I moved in,” she revealed. “They’ve made me feel so at home. I’ve never felt this homey in a place that wasn’t my home. So I’m really grateful. The living situation couldn’t be any better.”