Last night singer/songwriter Chrisette Michele urged people to claim power over their bodies at the “You Are The Power” concert at the Apollo. The event was hosted by actor and comedian Anthony Anderson and organized by the American Heart and American Stroke Association.
The evening opened with the hilarious Anthony Anderson, who lent his talents to such an important cause, specifically in the African American community. Throughout the night Anthony entertained the audience, making jokes about everything and everybody in an effort to lighten up such a heavy topic. The first performance was by the gospel group Trin-i-tee 5:7, followed by the music collective Brandon Camphor & One Way and gospel artist Brian Courtney Wilson.
Awardees included Andrea “Dre” Nichols Everett, Bernie Salazar, Rev. Dr. Geneace Williams, actor and comedian George Willborn, celebrity chef Marvin Woods, pastor Smokie Norful and of course, singer/songwriter Chrisette Michele. The legacy award was given to Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President at Pfizer Inc. Her mother died of a stroke while she was attending medical school, which inspired her journey to spread awareness about the preventable death that is stealing lives everywhere. The presenters included Matthew Knowles (Founder, President and CEO of Music World Entertainment), Malinda Williams (actor) and Justin Tuck (New York Giants) among many others.
The evening closed out with an inspiring performance by Chrisette Michele and she sang songs about faith, love and life.
For more information on the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association please visit: www.americanheart.org and www.strokeassociation.org. Keep up with Chrisette Michele and her doings here.
We also caught up with Chrisette on the red carpet, go to the next page for the interview!
You have been personally affected by a stroke in your own family. How do you deal with it?
It is a weird thing, because my mother suffered from a stroke two months ago and to speak about it so candidly right after, I have to hold the tears back.
So it has been a little bit awkward at times, but I think it is a great opportunity to talk about it…what happens and what doesn’t have to happen.
What advice can you give the African American youth in terms of their health?
Being proactive is the number one thing. You don’t have to be unhealthy. You don’t have to be obese. You don’t have to binge drink. I know we all like to go to the club and dance, but we can drink a little less. And be at your doctor’s office!
Women are at a very high risk of heart disease. Pay attention.
You are very close to your mother. How was your relationship affected by the stroke?
She is my mother, now I am her mother. My mother has always been part of my music. She has been my manager for many years. Me standing up straight is a tribute to my mother. I am my mother’s child. So me continuing to be strong and tough through this crazy music industry is a tribute to my mother.
How did it affect you as an artist?
Since it is your mom, it is hard for you to sing. I had to walk off the stage a few times. It’s hard to sing a song telling people they are going to be ok, if you are not ok.
Are you going to continue to work with charities such as the American Heart and American Stroke Association?
Yes, by the end of this year I am going to be going around the world and doing different charity events. It doesn’t matter who asks me to do it or for what it is. I just want to be available, where I can be available.
You are such an inspiration to many young women. Did you ever contemplate starting your own non-profit organization?
I am looking forward to get people involve that are not interested in the camera, lights and action and ready to get their hands dirty with my own charity called Charity Feen. You will hear about it more by the end of the year.
Why is it so important for you to give back to the community?
I was a Girl Scout. It allows me to be that girl that I used to be again. I am doing charity here and there and I am doing charity today. I grew up with charity.
What is next for you musically?
I am releasing a gospel album in February of next year.