Jones was born at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, to Beverly Jefferson, a teacher at the Flint Foundation Academy, and was raised by her mother and maternal grandmother, Ruth Jefferson Morris. She is a Christian and began singing at the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church at age five. She was formally trained in classical music although her favorite genre is gospel music. Jones stated in her Idol interview that her home was Flint, Michigan for her first 20 years, though she currently resides in Fort Meade, Maryland.
On March 31, 2007, Jones' grandmother, Ruth, celebrated her 90th birthday, and Jones was one of the guests to be invited to her grandmother's birthday party, along with Morris' granddaughter, Tamara Barge, who was one of the people to read a tribute to Jones's grandmother at the Hasselbring Senior Community Center in Flint, Michigan. In addition, Pres. George W. Bush and wife Laura Bush, and Gov. Jennifer Granholm wrote birthday letters wishing Ruth all the very best. That same day, Mayor Don Williamson and Patsy Lou gave Jones's grandmother the shouts of joy and declared Saturday, Ruth Jefferson Morris Day, in honor of LaKisha's grandmother's celebration.
Jones took second place in the 2005 Gimme the Mike competition in Houston.