After a three-year hiatus, world-renowned musician Ledisi has gracefully stepped into her queendom with love, faith, and confidence to match.
Fresh faced, down to earth, and full of laughter, Ledisi’s spirit lights up with love. Whether it be romantic or self-love, she knows that it is necessary to make it through the times when you just aren’t feeling it. “Loving it all, not just the good stuff…loving the stuff that’s hard loving through,” is what love means to her. With her husband Ron, Ledisi is embracing a love she’s never experienced before. With or without a beat face and lashes, he makes her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. “When my husband looks at me, it’s even more beautiful when I don’t have all that on. He makes me feel like, wow, that’s that kind of love,” she said. Ledisi assured us that, “Love feels good when it’s from within and you’re sure of your self-confidence. Sometimes we can’t be that all the time and that’s okay. That’s why you have to be particular about who’s close to you.”
The twelve-time Grammy nominated artist has spent almost two decades creating unparalleled vocals and has starred in film and television roles, as well publishing books. Her sound infuses blues, jazz, R&B and soul. The “Pieces of Me” songstress counts legends Chaka Khan, Prince, and Ella Fitzgerald as some of her strongest musical influencers. She arrived on the scene in the 90’s, and by 2000, she released her first album, Soulsinger: The Revival. Ledisi’s career took off and she quickly became a household name in the music industry.
During her journey of self-discovery, Ledisi learned the importance of having the right people around you and being “careful about the more intimate parts of you.” In her book, Don’t Ever Lose Your Walk: How to Embrace Your Journey, Ledisi gives tips to make it through different walks of life and explains how she took back her power and embraced her own venture. She writes about reaffirming your greatness and taking time to take care of yourself so you can be a better person. “When I have a good comfortable life, I can be a better writer, musician, and I can better my craft.” One of the most important lessons she learned is being still when you’re vulnerable. “Sometimes we think we have to get somewhere and somewhere is probably right where you are.”
Ledisi held on to that lesson throughout her three-year break. “I had to get my house in order,” she said. While on hiatus, Ledisi decided what she really wanted and went after it. “She’s a grown woman now. I’m not a little girl, I’m a businesswoman…I’ve been letting everybody else have credit for so long. Let me get my credit,” she stated. Now she owns a book publishing company, a record label, and fulfilled her parents dream of music ownership. She developed her acting skills while starring in American Soul as Pattie Labelle and creating The Legend of Little Girl Blue in honor of the great Nina Simone. She also started recording her podcast, Listen Back: Creative Conversations with Ledisi where she provides a safe space for other creatives to talk life, art, and much more.
To whom much is given, much is required so when times were rough and her patience was thin, Ledisi leaned on faith and self-care which includes exercises such as yoga, time at the beach, and visiting art museums while traveling. When asked how she kept pushing, she explained, “A lot of prayer and a lot of whining cause I ain’t perfect.” She humbly admits to complaining but working through bouts of restlessness with exercise and journaling. “We’ve got to get that energy back,” she said. “Even if it’s just being quiet, doing yoga, or sitting in the sun somewhere.”
Today, Ledisi is releasing new music, including her latest single, “Anything” from her highly anticipated album and enjoying the fruits of her labor. She said, “I learned a lot. That was a good time for me, regroup, be happy and enjoy this new happiness and new independence of being a grown woman.” She’s keeping her skin clear with a simple routine that includes witch hazel, and a good moisturizer, and maintaining a balanced life. “All I know having balance, patience, and a family life is all very important.” No matter where her journey takes her, she holds tight to her crown saying, “I am a queen!”
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Photo provided by Ron T. Young