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Ledisi

Ledisi Young (her given name meaning "to bring forth" in Nigerian) was born in the Big Easy, where she sang with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra when she was eight years old and spent many adolescent hours watching her mother perform with a local R&B band, often in a nearby park. After the family relocated to Oakland, California, Ledisi followed her mother's lead and sang in a local band, but left to form her own identity and her own group. She became widely noted for her performances in Beach Blanket Babylon, a long-running San Francisco-based cabaret featuring song parodies, celebrity impersonations, and enormous hats; she got the gig after being nominated for a Shellie Award in 1990 for her role as Dorothy in a local version of The Wiz.

She later formed Anibade (Ledisi's middle name), which, depending on what you read, means "to bring forth luck" or "my mother is great" in Yorubu. The band featured Sundra Manning (keyboards and chief songwriter), Cedricke Dennis (guitar), Nelson Braxton (bass), Wayne Braxton (saxophone), and Tommy Bradford (drums); while the lineup was similar to Chaka Khan & Rufus, the sound -- on record anyway -- was mellower than Rufus' energized, excellently engineered sounds, sometimes fusing R&B, hip-hop, urban, jazz, and funk in the same pot. Ledisi and her band built a hot reputation in the Bay Area at local clubs such as Bruno's, The Black Cat, and Rasselas. Fans kept asking about a record, so the band cut a demo, "Take Time," that radio station KMEL aired and received a good response; this prompted Ledisi to seek a deal with major recording companies, all of which praised and turned her down in the same breath. Frustrated but not thwarted, Ledisi cut the critically acclaimed Soulsinger and released it on LeSun Records (owned by Ledisi and Manning) on January 1, 2000. "Papa Loved to Love Me" -- a personal account of a father sexually abusing his daughter -- is one of the CD's most riveting and controversial tracks.

The CD did well without the benefit a major distributor: LeSun's successful grassroots promotion/publicity campaign went beyond the typical artist/company web page, saturating the Internet with information, accompanied by a full gigging plate during which Ledisi and company promoted and sold their CD, T-shirts, and other items. Amazon ranked Soulsinger number five in Los Angeles (September 2001), and it became popular in Finland, Norway, London, and Amsterdam as well. Ledisi recorded a jazz album with bassist Marcus Shelby for Noir Records -- Shelby's independent based company in San Francisco -- that further illustrated her skills. Her third studio album, Lost & Found, was released in 2007. Two of its singles -- "Alright" and "In the Morning" -- peaked within the Top 50 of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and a pair of Grammy nominations followed.

Released in 2008, It's Christmas featured updates of "Give Love on Christmas Day" and "What a Wonderful World." The appropriately titled Turn Me Loose, her hardest-hitting release, came the next year and featured collaborations with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, as well as Raphael Saadiq. Her most popular disc, it topped Billboard's R&B Albums chart, crossed into the Top 20 of the Billboard 200, and resulted in another pair of Grammy nominations. Pieces of Me, an album that involved the likes of Rex Rideout, Mike City, and Chuck Harmony -- as well as Jaheim on a duet -- followed in 2011. It came within one spot of topping the R&B chart and debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200. The Truth, featuring a surprising amount of uptempo material without any pop concessions, was released in 2014 and was her fourth consecutive Top Ten R&B release. A couple weeks after the January 2015 U.S. release of Selma, in which Ledisi appeared as gospel great Mahalia Jackson, the singer released The Intimate Truth, an EP of acoustic versions. ~ Andrew Hamilton & Andy Kellman, Rovi
full bio

Comments

sonia-89
Why don't y'all include her album Feeling Orange but Sometimes Blue. This has some of her BEST Recordings!! !
This beat doe u go ledisi
I love her music and style!
Very smooth
solomon787
So she was initially turned down by record company? Goes to show you how blind talent evaluator in high position are. Her voice is gold.
This lady's vocal chords is the EIGHTH wonder of the WORLD!!! IJS
What a wonderful, sexy, soulful singer.
Wow good sounds in music
A breathe taking beautiful woman who has an angelic voice, who can truly sing, I just love her voice, one of my favorite female vocalist
punkin30331
Love her music
Love her!!!!!
I seen Ledsi at DAR in Washington DC and she all of it I just love her. She is natural an seems pure no extra just being her self anytime she come here I will be there she full of pure soul
Cute
You are favor
I love your hair I saw you at missipipbolu v a r
chanel.reid
Just love her!
Music with a lot of Soul!
Ledisi is the TRUTH! She's the business for real! Her voice is impeccable and her range seems endless! Her background vocals slay as well!
catinhat.cd
Alright if you love me and i love you ,we work at everything else.
I love this song, want her to sing this at my wedding! Gotta find a wife first..lol
I love her....
catinhat.cd
Night star shine down on you lighting my way too.beautifu l ebony skin rich as earth want kiss miss you .*
lakeshamcdow e l l
Love it...
Reminds me of me and my Bae I love this song
One of my favorites. This song is so me! Ledisi is so gifted.
I love this song. .When I hear this song I just want to hold my husband and all other things too...♡♡♡♡♡
michelle.vth o m a s
This song helped me with the passing of my mother and grandmother in 2008. It's Alright, Mommy & Grammy. Luv and miss you EVERYDAY.
Thank you, Ledisi.
catinhat.cd
My sweet southern thing so hot knock this chill out the air by coming close too me with warm southern kisses.
This album came out during the greatest summer of my life changes in all..... thanks for great music to live and grow too...
lasonjaglenn
Love my Sista! Thanks for keeping my heart dancing...
Love Ledsi she's an awesome artist!
Love her to pieces it very refreshing listening to her music also love her style and grace. #growngirlmu s i c
It's refreshing to see a sista like her not afraid to do her own thing!
Ledisi...... B e a u t i f u l Sister & SongBird.... V o i c e has that annointing on it.....
Love ledisi she has such an awesome personality in person. Her music and voice our just wonderful. I can't get enough of her music.
awsome voice and songs
poeticmind90 5
Beautiful song
I can see her and a John Legend
Singing this together
He would kill this
LEDISI, SHE'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN ALL THE WAY THROUGH. I LOVE HER TONE I'M GLAD THERE IS STILL ANOTHER SONGSTRESS HERE FOR US OLD HEADS lol......ANY HOW SHE'S GREAT.
Love love
A truly gifted singer.
Everything about Ledisi is the real meaning of soul music and singing.
Fabulous!!!! ! !
She's the real deal!!
shermicachan d l e r
Truly talented
Talent that comes from with in, do your thing baby!!!! Sure Money
Real talent
Got a chance to see this lovely song bird in Huntsville Alabama and she immediately became my favorite artist. Ledisi your show was awesome and tha speaks volumes because you were the headliner in a concert that featured Brian Culbertson
love this lady.
Saw her in concert at Macy's Music Festival @ Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Oh in 2013. She was great!!!
Love her music!!!!
tracyoffutt
Get me more of this YES
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