Empower Me Tour

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Cities’ youth hear celebrities’ success stories



By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Singer-songwriter Ledisi, nationally syndicated radio talk host Warren BallentineWarren Ballentine, and actress Kim Coles were panelists at the half-day United Negro College Fund “Empower Me Tour” stop in Minneapolis October 13 at Dunwoody College of Technology. Each told a packed auditorium of Twin Cities middle- and high-school students how they overcame personal struggles until they eventually achieved success. Ledisi Anibade Young — her first name is Nigerian and means “to come forth” — was born in New Orleans and left home at age 18, later forming a group named after her middle name in 1995. However, she said initially she wasn’t able to convince record execs, who often told her, “You sound good, but we don’t know what to do with you.”

After opening for Chaka Khan, Ledisi was signed by Verve in 2000, and the twice-Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter said she now has four albums to her credit. “I am living my parents’ dream,” she said proudly. Continue Reading →

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