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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
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Stations Featuring

    R&B Holiday

    R&B Holiday
    7 songs


    6 songs

    R&B and Soul Mix

    R&B and Soul Mix
    10 songs

    Smooth Jazz

    Smooth Jazz
    1 song

    New Smooth Jazz

    1 song

Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   Pieces of Me
  3.   Stay Together
  4.   I Blame You
  5.   Like This
  6.   Joy
  7.   Goin' Thru Changes
  8.   It's Christmas
  9.   Give Love on Christmas Day
  10.   Think of You
  11.   This Christmas (Could Be the One)
  12.   Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  13.   In the Morning
  14.   Alright
  15.   Lose Control
  16.   Bravo
  17.   Higher Than This
  18.   I'll Go
  19.   Children Go Where I Send Thee
  20.   Be There for Christmas
  21.   Please Come Home for Christmas
  22.   What a Wonderful World
  23.   Them Changes
  24.   Raise Up
  25.   Knockin'
  26.   Best Friend
  27.   So Into You
  28.   I Swear
  29.   I Miss You Now
  30.   I Gotta Get to You
  31.   That Good Good
  32.   Runnin'
  33.   Love Never Changes
  34.   I Need Love
  35.   Upside Down
  36.   Get to Know You
  37.   So Right
  38.   Quick Fix
  39.   Everything Changes
  40.   Mine
  41.   Can't Help Who You Love
  42.   88 Boxes
  43.   Rock With You
  44.   Shut Up
  45.   Hate Me
  46.   Turn Me Loose
  47.   The Answer to Why
  48.   Say No
  49.   I Tried
  50.   Today
  51.   Been Here (Outro)
  52.   Someday
  53.   We Are One
  54.   Anything
  55.   Blues in the Night
  56.   BGTY
  57.   The Truth
  58.   Praise On The Inside by James Lorell Moss
  59.   Shine
  60.   Trippin'
  61.   Alone
  62.   Thank You
  63.   What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
  64.   Lost & Found
  65.   You & Me
  66.   Coffee
  67.   The One
  68.   Missy Doubt
  69.   Please Stay
  70.   Happy Feelin's
  71.   Silent Night

Artists Related to Ledisi


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