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Anyone who knows anything has known for years that Andra Day is an extraordinary singer and songwriter. She was a YouTube sensation en route to earning three Grammy Award nominations for her 2015 debut album Cheers to the Fall, and her chart-topping single “Rise Up” has become the unofficial anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement.
But no one — including herself — realized until the recent release of Lee Daniels‘ The United States of Billie Holiday that she is also an extremely gifted actress. For her portrayal of the title character, a role it seems she was born to play, she has received rave reviews, Golden Globe and Critics Choice award nominations for best actress (she won the Globe two Sundays ago) and best song (“Tigress & Tweed”). And, in an extremely competitive year, momentum seems to be on her side for a best actress Oscar nomination on March 15.
During a recent appearance on Awards Chatter, the 36-year-old discussed the roots of her passion for music; how a freak series of events brought her to the attention of Stevie Wonder, who, in turn, helped her to launch her career; what happened shortly before the release of her first album that made her become a deeply religious (or her preferred word, “spiritual”) person; why neither she nor Daniels were initially interested in her playing Holiday, and whether or not she plans to act again in the future; plus more.
* * * You can listen to the episode here.* * *
Past guests include Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Lorne Michaels, Barbra Streisand, George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence, Eddie Murphy, Gal Gadot, Warren Beatty, Angelina Jolie, Snoop Dogg, Jessica Chastain, Stephen Colbert, Reese Witherspoon, Aaron Sorkin, Margot Robbie, Ryan Reynolds, Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Matthew McConaughey, Kate Winslet, Jimmy Kimmel, Natalie Portman, Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, Judi Dench, Quincy Jones, Jane Fonda, Tom Hanks, Amy Schumer, Justin Timberlake, Elisabeth Moss, RuPaul, Rachel Brosnahan, Jimmy Fallon, Kris Jenner, Michael Moore, Emilia Clarke, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Helen Mirren, Tyler Perry, Sally Field, Spike Lee, Lady Gaga, J.J. Abrams, Emma Stone, Al Pacino, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jerry Seinfeld, Dolly Parton, Will Smith, Kerry Washington, Sacha Baron Cohen, Carol Burnett, Norman Lear, Keira Knightley, David Letterman, Sophia Loren, Hugh Jackman, Melissa McCarthy, Chris Evans, Carey Mulligan, Seth MacFarlane, Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Julia Roberts, Jake Gyllenhaal, Glenn Close, Will Ferrell, Cate Blanchett, Sacha Baron Cohen, Greta Gerwig, Conan O’Brien, Jodie Foster & Kevin Hart.
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