R&B singer Ledisi tells ‘The Truth’

Ledisi is touring for her new album, "The Truth." Credit: Universal Music Group
Ledisi is touring for her new album, “The Truth.”
Credit: Universal Music Group

What do Beyonce, John Legend and Ledisi have in common?

They all performed at Michelle Obama’s birthday party in January. For Ledisi, who has just released a new album called “The Truth,” it was — and it wasn’t — just another day at the White House.

The R&B singer has performed there multiple times.

“It’s always the same feeling where I have an ‘A ha!’ moment — whoa, I can’t believe I’m here,” Ledisi says. “[The President and Michelle Obama] make you feel so comfortable, it’s like talking to friends or family members and they love music and people. They look you in the eye when they’re speaking and you might be calm on the outside but inside, you’re freaking out — they really appreciate my gift!”

The Obama-Ledisi connection became public in 2010 when Michelle Obama told People Magazine that “she’s got that really pretty voice.”

The voice, which has racked up eight Grammy nominations so far, should get broader appeal, thanks to “The Truth.” The tracks have a bit more contemporary, poppier feel than the sultry ballads and jazzy excursions of her previous albums. The lead single, “I Blame You,” is an appealing mid-tempo R&B jam which showcases the soaring power of Ledisi’s pipes.

“It’s about wanting to open up to different audiences that I think I have been closed to,” Ledisi says. “I wanted to open it up to younger audiences — if I’ve been ignoring them, it wasn’t on purpose.”

Ledisi, full name Ledisi Anibade Young, is a New Orleans native who moved to Oakland in her teens. She started out on the indie route with 2000’s “Soulsinger: The Revival” and her major-label debut was 2007’s “Lost & Found” on Verve.

Now, it’s time for “The Truth.”

“There are songs that will make you feel upbeat and songs about relationships that didn’t work,” Ledisi says. “I’m embracing who I am and who I’ve become.”

Upcoming shows:

Ledisi with the Robert Glasper Experiment

New York City
April 30, 8 p.m.
Beacon Theatre
2124 Broadway
$70-$123, 866-858-0008
www.beacontheatre.com

Philadelphia
May 1, 8 p.m.
Tower Theater
69th and Ludlow, Upper Darby
$34.50-$60, 215-922-1011
www.thetowerphilly.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…