Heather Headley makes switch to gospel

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Trinidadian Heather Headley has been in musicals, collaborated with gospel greats like Smokie Norful and CeCe Winans, captured the No. 1 slot on Billboard charts, won Tony and Soul Train awards and has been nominated for Grammys.

Trinidadian Heather Headley has been in musicals, collaborated with gospel greats like Smokie Norful and CeCe Winans, captured the No. 1 slot on Billboard charts, won Tony and Soul Train awards and has been nominated for Grammys.

Now she’s going back to her childhood upbringing to bring her audience a gospel CD with Audience of One.

CD: Were you surprised by the success of your gospel CD or hesitant that people may have boxed you into R&B?

HH: I’m always surprised that people buy things besides my mom and my husband. It’s very humbling that people would take their hard-earned dollar. It’s a different road, but with that said, I don’t want to be pigeonholed. I fight that with all my life. I have many branches in my tree.

CD: Did your father being a pastor at McKee Street Church of God influence you into making gospel music?

HH: My father was a minister before I was born in Trinidad. My first memories are in church. For the first few years of my life, my bedroom shared a wall with the sanctuary… then we moved above the church. Before I knew myself, I was immersed in the church. I’ve always wanted to do a gospel CD.

CD: What made you do R&B first then?

HH: I got the record deal while I was doing Broadway. Somebody came to me and said, ‘Would you like to do an R&B CD?’ and I said ‘OK. Great.’ There was a part of me that said I wanted to do R&B first and gain that respect and then do a gospel CD and move those…I try not to call them fans…friends of mine through all these different genres.

CD: What is your favorite song from each album?

HH: If It Wasn’t for Love on This Is Who I Am; In My Mind on In My Mind; and I Wish on Audience of One.

Heather Headley will be performing at the DuSable Museum on February 10.

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