If you’ve lived or traveled to New York City, surely you’ve been privileged to watch Gabourey Sidibe’s mother and America’s Got Talent finalist Alice Tan Ridley perform soulful hits in various Subway stations. On the heels of her first album’s debut, Ridley sat down with Refinery 29 to talk about motherhood, her career and why she didn’t want Gabourey to take her breakthrough role in Precious.
“I’ve been singing all my life and I hope to sing until I’m out of here. That’s been my dedication: to show people that you can still do what you love to do,” she told the lifestyle publication. When asked why she titled her debut album, Never Lost My Way, she said she wants it to serve as a reminder for those who are on the verge of giving up. “I didn’t give up on my dreams for years,” Ridley said.
When asked about Gabourey’s career and if she financially helped her mother, Ridley shared that the Empire star has been by her side, every step of the way. “She’s there for me,” Ridley noted, revealing that despite Gabourey’s success, she didn’t care for her daughter’s role in the 2009 Lee Daniel’s movie, Precious. “I really didn’t want her to do that part that she did in the movie. But I’m so happy that she did. People still today see her as that person who went through that life. When they see me performing in the subway or onstage, they ask if I’m Precious’ mother — and I tell them no! My daughter’s name is not Precious. Her name is Gabourey Sidibe.”
Well, Muva Ridley has spoken!
Check out her favorite song/cover Try A Little Tenderness, below and listen to her entire album, here.