Many of us hyperbolize when we say a musician/band saved our lives.
For 49-year-old soul and jazz singer Ledisi, it’s real life. The New Orleans’ native was contemplating leaving this Earthly realm after two decades of making music and had been struggling with bills, a divorce, and hating where she lived in East Oakland, California. She felt, at that point in 2003, that she had been placed in a box by an industry that failed to embrace her and wasn’t growing as a person or as an artist and if she wasn’t growing, then, to her, what was the point? Just as she had come to this tragic conclusion, Nina Simone’s "Trouble in Mind" busted through the radio like a hug or a slap.
“Trouble in mind, I’m blue/ But I won’t be blue always/ ’Cause the sun is gonna shine/ In my backdoor someday,” Simone sang. It was then that Ledisi knew she was going to make it through this and anything else that came her way. Look to July of this year when Ledisi finally got to pay homage to the woman who saved her life when she released Ledisi Sings Nina, covering a selection of the late singer’s most beloved tunes like "Wild is the Wind" and "Feeling Good." The release follows Ledisi’s first Grammy award, which she won for Best Traditional R&B Performance and a few major successes from 2020: the creation of her record label Listen Back Entertainment and the release of her second book, Don’t Ever Lose Your Walk: How to Embrace Your Journey. “Our life as a whole is important, all of it,” she said of the book. “The highs, the lows, the challenges, and everything in between. In all of it, there is a lesson.”Kenyon Dixon is also on the bill.
Event begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at the Masonic Temple’s Cathedral Theatre; 500 Temple St., Detroit; 313-832-7100; themasonic.com. Tickets are $35+. *Venue requires proof of full vaccination prior to entry
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