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This Broadway Star Wants To Make You Feel Good

People

Tony-Award winning actress and Broadway star, LaChanze, has been gearing up for her national tour and preparing to launch her new EP called Feeling Good. Beginning on Monday, February 27th at the Highline Ballroom in NYC, LaChanze will be sharing the music of her heart and soul. Before hitting the road and embarking on her adventure, LaChanze talks to SWAAY about her journey recording the EP, her musical influences, and the importance of music in her life.


Winning the 2006 Tony Award for “Best Actress in a Musical” in the original cast of The Color Purple, LaChanze is commonly known as a Broadway legend. She also has stared in musicals such as If/Then, Once on This Island, and Ragtime, as well as movies like Hercules and The Help. Now, LaChanze is expanding her horizons by beginning to create her own dialogue with her new EP Feeling Good. “I am used to having people write for me and reading scripts, but it is so amazing to work on original pieces,” LaChanze said, “sometimes I will wake up with a melody in my head, and I would take my phone and make a voice memo of me humming the tune, all while I am still in bed.”

The EP is based on her personal experiences and journeys that have impacted her life. “I talk about my favorite music from the late 60’s and 70’s, and how that music impacted my life,” LaChanze says.

“I also talk about my late husband, and how my children helped me get through those tough times.” Through the EP, she aims to touch and influence the audience by taking them on her personal journey through sharing the music of her life. “The music that I am performing during my tour has influenced my life and helped me become the woman I am today,” said LaChanze.

Feeling Good is meant to uplift the audience by inspiring them to reflect on their personal journeys, and help them through whatever they are dealing. LaChanze’s new EP is about comfort, hope, faith, and inspiring others. The Feeling Good tour begins in early March and will occur all across the country. “I am looking forward to traveling to new cities and inspiring people to look at the Broadway community differently,” said LaChanze.

Along with preparing for her national tour, LaChanze is also writing a memoir about her life so far. “My life has been pretty interesting, and I have gone through quite a bit of things that people may not know of,” said LaChanze. She has also written a children’s book Little Diva, which presents a story about a day in the life of a little girl with big Broadway dreams.

Feeling Good is a peak into my life through song,” stated LaChanze. The tour will give listeners a peek into her life through song with original material as well as musical highlights from her career. “I found some really great music, some original and some that people are familiar with, as well as some that people know me from in the musical theater world,” said LaChanze. As of now, LaChanze is focusing on her our, but will go back to Broadway after her daughter graduates from high school.

“The journey has been tumultuous at time, but also very inspiring, and at the end of the day, I want to inspire others by telling my story,” stated LaChanze.

To follow LaChanze on her musical journey, follow her on Twitter at @laChanze or instagram at @mslachanze.

3 Min Read
Career

Black LGBTQ Woman Powerhouse Launches Vegan Cosmetics Line

I am a proud Black business owner carrying a line of lip colors for the woman who wants to shine. At Vatarie Cosmetics you can find cruelty-free and vegan lip care products, including clear lip gloss and liquid matte lipsticks. The line is still under development, so there are more products in the making that you'll hear more about soon!

My products are high-quality and it is my dream to take my brand into high-end storefronts across the nation and even across the globe.

About Leticia

I have worked my way into my entrepreneurial career as I did not come from money. The goal of my cosmetic line is to bring excitement to everyone who tries the line. My products are high-quality and it is my dream to take my brand into high-end storefronts across the nation and even across the globe. I believe that with added makeup and a good set of threads, anybody can confidently face the world. I am a proud and firm supporter of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and a proud member and supporter of the LGBTQIA community.

There have been plenty of hardships that I have had to face throughout my entire life, the most recent being the recent death of my father who passed far too soon. I have never allowed these hardships to deter me, and won't start now. I will continue to progress and work hard to build my business, knowing that this is what my father would have wanted.

About the Vatarie Line: What It's All About

Upon launching the line, I had the mission of inspiring every human to find their inner beauty and to have fun along the way. With this in mind, my products are designed for people of all genders, races, religions, and creeds. The Vatarie line will have more to offer customers very soon as I am continually working on developing products and expanding the line. In addition to the lip colors currently offered, the line will soon include highlighters, eyeshadows, and new lip gloss additions.

I believe that no one needs makeup to validate themselves, and we are all beautiful on our own. I do believe, though, that makeup can make life a lot more fun. Now more than ever we are living in a world where there is so much sadness and darkness. Sometimes all we need to change our moods and get away from that darkness is something to help us feel better and more vibrant — this is where a pop of makeup and a well put together outfit can really make an impact.

Now more than ever we are living in a world where there is so much sadness and darkness.

I encourage everybody to embrace their inner beauty and inner style, and express themselves no matter what. My line of products is inspired by high fashion and designed to make a bold statement. The running theme across my products is empowerment at every stage and level. I create products that make my customers feel happy, and I ensure I am happy myself with my products before I release every single one. There is no place for cutting corners as I believe in producing the highest quality product.

I bring my sense of humor and quirky personality into my products and you can see this in the names of each item. Take the lip color "Blood Money," which signifies all the money, tears, sweat, and yes, blood that was put into the brand. Let me tell you, it was hard work, and it still is hard work, but at the end of the day, it fulfills me to know the type of quality I am providing. It gives me great pride to create a line of legendary products that will positively affect someone and bring them to a place of self-love and acceptance.

About the Past that Gives My Business Meaning

I have struggled over the years with mental abuse that has left me feeling as if "I wasn't enough." Added to that, being a Black woman in an industry that is predominantly dominated by other races, I had to work harder to get to where I am today.

Coming from a broken home, my family struggled with addiction, making my entire childhood a miserable nightmare. My mother abandoned us as she was being physically abused, and it was up to us the kids to do everything necessary to take care of the home and each other. We eventually ended up living with my grandmother in Miami, Florida. At a very young age, I had to endure physical and mental abuse and was locked up. At the age of 22, I lost my younger sister to gun violence and found myself raising her one-year-old son as my own.

Being a Black woman in an industry that is predominantly dominated by other races, I had to work harder to get to where I am today.

While my past was a rough one, it is what has made me the strong, independent, and vibrant woman I am today. That woman strives to be her best every day and works tirelessly to provide a line of only the best cosmetics products. I couldn't see this while I was living through those bad situations and struggling to grow up, but I can look back and see how I was made more resilient because of my hardships.

As I grieve over my father's recent passing, I become stronger. It is this added personal strength that will push me forward in everything I do and will be reflected in my work ethic and in the development of new products for my Vatarie line of cosmetics.