The insights, conversations and behind-the-scene news of Heather Headley.
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Oh! How I’ve missed you all! The past few days have been a whirlwind. We’re settling in well enough, though! Its a beautiful city… And its home for the next few months. We still don’t have cable or Internet power at home, so we’re buying any and everything at Starbucks to borrow their service. With all the money we’ve spent there they should be able to sell $10 coffee for the next ten years .
Well, today is the first day of school…rehearsal. I have my new bag, my books (script), my clean clothes, and I’m even being taken to the ‘school door’ by my Big Daddy;). I’m nervous, but blessed, excited, and so very supported by the love and encouragement of so many. The next few weeks are going to be a challenge trying to find the ‘voice’ of Rachel. Her singing voice will sound a lot like mine (sorry about that;)) and my aim is to find who she is in my body! It’s not going to be easy, especially since the body she inhabited before was quite a great
one;).HHTeam begged me to let you hear a song from the new album and since it’s the first day of rehearsal, I thought it was fitting so here’s a clip of my version of ‘Run To You!’ Click here to listen on YouTube.
Well, Wish me God’s blessings, luck and many ‘theatrical’ broken legs! Here we go…let’s write it…Chapter 22: The Bodyguard!
Drum roll please…
Thanks to you, I have a cover for my album and here it is!
Thanks so much for all your feedback on these pictures; the packaging for the CD has come together beautifully (if I can say so myself). We had a difficult time; the voting was close by the end of the day, but we decided that this cover would be the best for the album. Those of you who voted for the other pictures…, you’ll also be very happy. Because of your overwhelming responses to the other two pictures, the packaging was altered to incorporate those images, and the picture that won will be the featured shot on the www.HeatherHeadley.com Website unveiling in a few weeks.
This album was done with each of you in mind, and I’m so glad that you can help us add to it. Thanks so much.
So, here it is…the cover of Only One In The World.
So, here is my confession: I DID NOT want to get on a plane and fly ANYWHERE this week. NOPE! Anyhow, I landed in Bilund, and was driven through the beautiful Danish countryside to Herning. As I was in the car, God gently opened my eyes, and allowed me a tiny peek into His “video diaries” of my life. A quick “Heather, wake-up moment!” I need those from time to time. But, it’s crazy when I think about it…How does a little skinny-legged girl from Barataria, Trinidad end up singing in a sold-out arena with Andrea Bocelli in Herning, Denmark?! How does that happen? I’ll tell ya’! It’s called a God Story! I couldn’t write this script better myself; I’m incapable of doing it!
So, today…today as I board this plane to Malmo, Sweden, I’m EXTREMELY HAPPY to be here! Grateful for this AMAZING journey that I’ve been on – - all undeserved! So thankful for this gift (the loan, I call it) that I have been placed steward over; I hope that I make God proud with it. And I’m really honored and excited for a chance to share it and serve these beautiful people over the few nights that I’m here!
and Thanks God, for an AMAZING ride – - I’m excited and (hopefully) ready to see where the next turn takes me! I’m holding on…..
In the next few months I’m going to ready myself and my family for the next step in our journey:
My new role as Rachel Marron in
The Bodyguard, A New Musical.
The show opens in the West End of London in December, so we’re packing up and heading over the pond!
The Musical will showcase some of Whitney Houston’s amazing hits, and I have the great honor and challenge of singing many of them. For most of my life, I have been a fan and student of Whitney Houston, and I’m honored and excited, albeit nervous about this new venture. The producers have been working on this show for a few years, and with the passing of Whitney, we all feel a greater responsibility to honor her musical legacy, and I believe we will.
So, I’ll admit it… it’s time that you had some new music from me!
I took two years off to have, and spend time with our son – - and motherhood has been an amazing experience for me. I’ve been working on music, and I’m really excited to announce that my NEW STUDIO ALBUM will be released FALL 2012…Just for you! This will be a group of songs I love: Originals, as well as covers I’ve come to really enjoy performing in my shows. By the time the new album is released, I’ll be leaving the States to begin my run of The Bodyguard in London, so I’ll be depending on you to get the word out.
Over the next few months I’ll give you a few snippets of new music and keep you informed about the progress of the album. So, please sign up on the mailing list for updates. I hope you’ll be with me on this one. I’ll need your prayers, help and support.
So, let’s get ready to start spreading the word!
Back in January of 2009, my manager called me way too excited. By the tone of his voice, I knew something was up and it was big. In celebration of America, and in honor of the inauguration of the first African American President, HBO was presenting a concert called We Are One, and they were asking ME to be a part of it. There was one problem, however: I whispered to my manager that I had laryngitis and bronchitis and couldn’t sing a note, and he sweetly told me that was too bad because but I WOULD be singing in a week even if he had to drag me on that stage himself! Well, with the help of my voice doctor, some heavy drugs, and a whole lotta’ prayer, I walked onto the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with just enough voice to get through the song, but not enough to scream my amazement at what I was witnessing. There before me was a sea of 750,000 people standing in the freezing cold – - all there to celebrate the greatness of America. I could cry – - but I had to sing, and sing well….
You see I was aware that back on Easter Sunday, in 1939, Marian Anderson, with perseverance and a belief in a greater cause, had already paved a path for me on those steps. Ms. Anderson had been denied permission to sing at Constitution Hall because of her race. Her request to use a white public high school auditorium instead was also declined by the Board of Education in Washington. But with the help of President and First Lady Roosevelt, it was arranged to have Ms. Anderson present her concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. 75,000 people – - of all races – - stood there to hear her (‘couldn’t fit that many in the school gym – - I guess!)! Ms. Anderson famously began her concert with My Country, Tis of Thee – - the same song I was now going to sing 70 years later. When she walked onto those steps it was amid controversy and segregation. I was walking there as a beneficiary of her fight and the battles won by so many others. So, there, under the gaze of Mr. Lincoln and on the shoulders of Ms. Anderson and so many others, I sang!
When I’m 98 years old and sitting on my porch or wherever our son decides to put me, my great grandchildren will be running around and the conversation will go like this:
“By the way, do you little stinkers know where I was on Sunday, January 18th 2009”?
“Yes Nana, you’ve told us 515 times!”
“Well, I’m getting ready to tell you for the 516thtime. I sang on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for 900 million (the crowd will get bigger over the years) people – - thanks to Marian Anderson. Now go and get me that left over cake…and some iced tea… and my teeth…. and my wig because now I feel pretty and young again…and…what did you mutter under your breath, child….
So, I must confess: I have a few “guilty pleasures” and because we’re all friends here, I thought I’d confess “some” of them to you.
1. Hoarders – - can’t get enough of this show for some reason. My husband tells me that I’m crazy because every episode begins and ends the same…but I still have to watch.
2. Top Chef – - I wish there was a way I could eat the food, but I do love watching…and feeling the urge to eat while doing so.
3. Kitchen Nightmares – I think I’m always waiting to see if I’ve eaten at the restaurant they’re trying to help. Safe so far!
4. Small French Vanilla or Marzipan, Decaf, skinny lattes _ we have a little coffee shop in our town and in the winter, a warm latte just makes me so content (even though I shouldn’t have too many of them. My acid flares up with coffee).
5. Grilled Jerk Chicken wings – - at least I have them grilled or roasted – but shouldn’t have these either!
What about you…wanna’ share any of your guilty pleasures with us?
The little one and commander general is already up (he was awake at 6am – what’s he thinking!). Which means my Mama “shift” started a little earlier than expected. it’s funny how these little people take your heart, twist it around and then hand it back and say “now try to live like you did before!” Impossible! i never thought i could love someone this much (outside of his dad – that is)! and this is why i catch all of his colds…too much kissing! i’m pretty private when it comes to my “boys,” but i thought i’d share with you today. this is my little Commander.
okay, i have to go… i’m being summoned!
So… I was watching this documentary on this school that believes that in order to be politically correct and “fair,” physically capable children should not jump rope with a rope, play tag, or keep score in sports (among other things). WHAT?! It’s a competitive world out there. There are so many people scratching and clawing to make it to the top…actually… just to get into the heap! Why are we trying to raise a group of people that don’t understand hard work or failure? Don’t our best lessons come from our failures and not our successes? Trials produce perseverance, and perseverance produces character (to steal a quote from the Good Book). To achieve greatness in anything, we have to be willing to put ourselves out there, try, fail, pick ourselves up, and try again! That in itself is success, isn’t it? I want our son to be a gracious, empathetic winner. He’s not going to be the best at everything, so he needs to learn how to lose. And when he does lose, even if it hurts, he needs to be just as gracious. How can you ever learn to jump rope if you DON’T HAVE A ROPE!
‘Sorry I’m so mad about this, but the documentary got me.
As we go into this New Year, there are many things that I want to accomplish. So, I’m tackling it all head first, and I look forward to the adversities and the challenges (even if I’m shaking all the way!). Let’s not allow the fear of failure to change our course or slow us down. NOT FOR A SECOND! I’m giving myself permission to fail. Because then I’m going to get up and come back better than EVER! This is what I wish for you!
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. There’s so much to be grateful for – - the list is long, and God knows I shouldn’t need a day to remember that, but it’s good to have it. The food was excellent. I think it’ll take me months to work off the mac and cheese, but it was worth it. My girlfriend (who shall remain nameless) is very bitter and jealous because she doesn’t think that her mother-in-love is as good a cook as mine. And she’s RIGHT! So, in my sweetness, I sent her a picture of the spread, my plate and me eating. She said some bad things to me – - some really bad things – - but I think we’re still friends, at least until the Christmas dinner.
The next few weeks are going to be tough. I’m away from home quite a bit and I’m already missing my “boys.” I start the Andrea Bocelli tour in Ohio (on my son’s birthday, Happy Birthday Sweet Boy) and we end in Los Angeles. It’s going to be hectic, but we can handle it and it’ll be fun. If you think of me, pray for health, protection, safe travel and stamina. I will be trying my best to upload a few shots and behind-the-scenes moments for all of you, so check in to find them. Yes! Yes! I promise I’ll remember to do it.
I end my holiday performance schedule in Trinidad. I’m so excited and nervous about this one. Ahhh! It’s always so sentimental and nostalgic just landing on the island. I feel the breeze, and it brings with it so many sweet memories of my childhood and life there. I was asked to do a private concert for British Gas to benefit the United Way on the island – - A foundation that needs all the help we can give it. Anyhow, they’ve released a few tickets to the public (so for the Trinis reading this, grab them if you still can), but it’s mostly a private affair. It’s been a while since I’ve been to or performed in Trinidad, and this one will be different. So, I’ve placed quite a bit of pressure on myself and everyone with me. But the band and all involved have stepped up to the challenge, and are proving themselves more than capable to tackle all that I’ve thrown at them. The show is going to be a mix of all the music I enjoy, and I’m excited to sing some songs I don’t normally have a chance to perform. I’m also going to be joined by some phenomenal local talent (I’d like to surprise you, so no names just yet), who are going to show why Trinidad is just a haven for talent. I need to get myself together so I can keep up. I’m so excited.
The days were glorious here in Chicago. GLORIOUS! For nine days in a row, it was 75-80 degrees in Chicago in OCTOBER! We were all outside in shorts, and t-shirts, playing at the park, frolicking in the meadows – - well I’m not sure about the frolicking and the meadows, but we were pretending it was still summer. It’s all over now, though. I think Fall has officially moved in, however. Rumor has it that the winter ahead of us is going to be the worst EVER! A meteorologist here said that it will be the kind of winter that makes you wants to leave town. You don’t have to tell me that twice – - I’m booking flights now….
A few friends invited me to attend a weekly women’s fellowship here in town and I’ve truly enjoyed spending a few hours with these amazing, beautiful and inspiring women. Every week we come together, listen to a speaker, and then break into smaller groups where we discuss the weekly lesson and share what’s going on in our lives. Sometimes we get caught up in what’s going on behind our own doors and forget that there are people among us – - people of all walks of life who are going through some trying seasons. Every week I hear another heart breaking story of a woman battling some form of cancer (isn’t cancer tired yet? Why doesn’t it take a break!). There are women trying to save their marriages and love their husbands despite the reality they know. There are ladies, who are in great love relationships and are staying strong, depending on God and adjusting as the family deals with growing children, job loss, or other life changes. And the stories go on…. I know one day I may be in my own season, and I do hope that I can show the same strength, faith and determination I see every week in those ladies. I know God helps and provides peace and love in our storms – - but it’s still tough. Women are amazing, though! My mother was and is a great example of that. In the toughest season of our family’s life, she had to take the reins and she got us through.
With that said… I thank God for health. I thank Him for the health of my family – - all of them. I thank Him for an amazing husband who continues to be a dream come true; a girl couldn’t ask for a better guy. I’m grateful for all I have and for this season in my life. It’s not always sunny – - every now and then a cloud may pass by, but I can’t discount the fact that even on the rainy days, life has been a blessing.
Let’s pray for each other.