Francisca Urio is a German singer-songwriter and radio presenter of Afro-German heritage who lives in Berlin. She was born in Meiningen, a town in southern Thuringia but grew up in Berlin as the only child of her German mother Monica and her father Geoffrey from Tanzania, both architects who met while studying in Dresden. Her father’s RnB, Soul and Pop music collection influenced her music taste from an early age. Her first stage experience was at pre-school age as an extra in a Porgy and Bess performance at the Berlin Theater des Westens. She attended the Fläming-Grundschule in 12159 Berlin-Friedenau and the Paul-Natorp-Gymnasium in 12161 Berlin. After finishing school with the Abitur in 2000 she decided to pursue her singing career full time.
Francisca Urio gained national recognition as contestant and ‘Top 10’ finalist in the 2007 German “Idol” version Deutschland sucht den Superstar (DSDS) broadcasted by RTL. She was considered a unique talent[, having the best voice and being the favorite in this competition, not only by the jury but also gaining acclamation by professional singers like the bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff.
On 6. February 2007 the German newspaper Bild appeared with an article accusing Francisca Urio and her friend Priscilla Harris (who was also a contestant at the casting show) to be professional singers, having already recorded CDs and are therefore not entitled to take part in the competition. However the accusations where quickly dismissed as the rules of the DSDS show only prohibit participants to have a current recording contract but not to have previous professional experience.
Despite the praise her performances received from the jury Francisca Urio was unexpectedly eliminated in the 4th motto show, which equally surprised the jury, the other candidates and the viewers. However, in an online voting with over hundred thousand votes organized by the newspaper Bild after the casting show was finished, Francisca Urio won the voting by a small margin ahead of the DSDS winner Mark Medlock.