About this Artist
After a distinguished two-decade career, Ledisi earned her long overdue and first Grammy award in March 2021 for Best Traditional R&B Performance for her hit song, “Anything For You”. That year, during the pandemic, Ledisi launched her own label, releasing “The Wildcard” LP, which included her Grammy winning song and first Billboard Number 1 radio hit in the Summer of 2020 and by December 2020 she co produced her very first PBS Special “Ledisi Sings Nina Simone.” On the heels of the huge success of “The Wild Card”, Ledisi released “Ledisi Live at The Troubadour” in April 2021 accompanied by a pay-per view virtual concert.
Growing up, Ledisi was heavily influenced by many soulful music icons, one in particular was Dr. Nina Simone. Ledisi finally completed and released her dream project on her label entitled, “Ledisi Sings Nina “ with the Metropole Orkest conducted by Jules Buckley and The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra conducted by Adonis Rose. The album also features vocalists Lizz Wright, Lisa Fischer and Alice Smith. Ledisi’s tour de force jazz project has received rave reviews:
“Her vocal performance is the picture of bravura self-assurance, bounding across her range with a declaratory power.” - Nate Chinen, WBGO Radio.
“As a contemporary vocalist, there’s almost no one I can think of in the world that sings as skillfully as she does,” “In terms of her range, dexterity, clarity, versatility, she can do anything she wants. She’s one of the great singers in the world, period.” -John Legend
“Ledisi Sings Nina,” an album that features seven of Simone’s most popular songs redone in orchestral, jazz and pop arrangements. They showcase both the diversity and depth of Simone’s musicianship and the breathtaking range and reach of Ledisi’s own voice.
-Salamishah Tillet, New York Times
In November of 2021, the powerhouse performer received her 14th Grammy Nomination for, ”Ledisi Sings Nina” for “Best Traditional Pop Album.” Ledisi has been nominated for 14 Grammys (one for Best New Artist), garnered 3 Soul Train Music Awards, 19 NAACP Image Award Nominations, an NAACP Theatre Award and this year, an NAACP nomination for Breakthrough Performance In a Film for her role as Mahalia Jackson in “Remember Me”. Ledisi also received two LA Alliance Ovation Award Nominations, one for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
Born in New Orleans and raised in Oakland, CA, Ledisi has wowed fans with her unparalleled vocals. She has truly earned a place in the pantheon of the greatest singers of her generation. Ledisi is a favorite of The Obamas and a long list of icons including the late-Prince, Patti LaBelle, Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and so many more. She has headlined four nationally sold-out tours, performed alongside many artists Dave Matthews, Gary Clark Jr, Vince Gill, Keb Mo and Maxwell as well as jazz greats Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper and Patti Austin.
No stranger to the film and television world, Ledisi landed her first feature, singing in the George Clooney directed film “Leatherheads.” In 2015 she landed a role in the Oscar-nominated movie, Selma, portraying the great Mahalia Jackson and had a notable performance in Gabourney Sidibe’s Shatterbox Anthology film, “The Tale Of Four”. Ledisi also secured her first major television role, playing the legendary Patti LaBelle on the hit BET hit series American Soul followed by a standout performance on the FX hit series, “POSE”. She can also be seen in “Twice Bitten” with her co-star Lisa Raye on BET Plus. In 2022 Ledisi landed a starring role, portraying the great Mahalia Jackson in “Remember Me,” a biopic starring Columbus Short, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Janet Hubert and Keith David. Finally, Ledisi will portray the legendary Gladys Knight in the biopic “Spinning Gold” a film about Casablanca Records Chief Neil Bogart releasing on March 31.
In early 2000 Ledisi focused her energy on breaking into the theater world making her Broadway debut as a “Radio and Washing Machine” understudy in Tony Kushner’s “Caroline or Change” directed by George C. Wolfe. Ledisi helped workshop the Tony Award winning musical, The Color Purple but decided to focus on her recording career when she signed a record deal with Verve Music Group/Universal as the show went on Broadway.
Ledisi officially returned to theater in 2019 as The Ancestor, in the critically acclaimed off-broadway musical, Witness Uganda by Griffith Matthews and Matt Gould, the role for which she received the LA Alliance Nomination. 2019 she took a leap and co-wrote/ co- produced her one woman show, “The Legend of Little Girl Blue.” The show premiered at the Wallis Theatre in Beverly Hills to 19-sold out shows. Ledisi returned to a Broadway stage as “Sonja” a feature in the revised version of the musical “ The Life," directed by Billy Porter, which will opened in March 2022 at the New York City Center. “Ledisi delivers a show stopping performance of the Oldest Profession in the Encore production of The Life.” -New York Times
Ledisi is extremely passionate about being an advocate for the Arts, lobbying for young musicians and protecting the rights of creatives. She is currently a Professor at Berklee College of music, an Artists in Residency for Berkelee’s Jazz and Gender Justice Program. She is also the second woman of color to be President of the Recording Academy’s Los Angeles Chapter. She continues to focus her efforts on increasing and giving voice to diversity in everything she does. August 2021 Ledisi had the esteemed honor of becoming an Honorary Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. The Tail of her line-sisters, Michelle J. Howard, Abby Phillip, Joy-Ann Reid, Ambassador Shabazz, Collette V. Smith and Ledisi collectively known as “The Justice League.”
As an author, she released her first book “Better Than Alright: Finding Peace, Love and Power “, as a collaboration with Essence Magazine. Her latest book “Don’t Ever Lose Your Walk: How to Embrace Your Journey” is released through her book publishing company, Chinweya (chin- way-yah) Publishing.
Utilizing and developing her versatile skills as a communicator, advocate, singer/ songwriter, music producer, author, playwright, film producer and now CEO of her record label Listen Back Entertainment/BMG, Ledisi is excited about launching more projects in the future for herself and others.
When you speak of women in entertainment Ledisi has brazenly put herself square at the head of the conversation. “I am finally owning my lane as a creative, while understanding what it means to be me….Ledisi, a black woman, a wife, a bonus mom, a daughter, a sister, a professional storyteller, a passionate advocate and a stronger businesswoman. All of this.. feels like many things. But it feels good.