Redefining Diva: Life Lessons from the Original Dreamgirl

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Secrets about love, life, and Hollywood from the Tony Award-winning actress from the Broadway production of Dreamgirls —in the role recently made famous by Beyonce—timed to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the original Broadway show.

Sheryl Lee Ralph was the original Deena Jones in Broadway’s production of Dreamgirls and the show was a Broadway sensation from its inception. Now, the star of film, television, and Broadway, known for her talent and fearlessness, shows readers how to find—and own—their inner divas.

Sheryl rose to international fame after her performance in Dreamgirls, winning the Tony Award for Best Actress and going on to star in movies with Denzel Washington and Robert DeNiro and capture America’s heart as television’s favorite mom Die in the #1-rated series Moesha . But it wasn’t an easy task. From her legendary catfight with Diana Ross to her controversial exit from Moesha, Sheryl Lee Ralph is a woman who does not fade in the background—and she reveals how and why she has remained in the spotlight for decades.

Sheryl is a hip, modern Miss Manners who inspires women with her wit, strength, and call-it-like-it-is courage. Using her own experiences as a guide—and dishing the truth behind all the rumors—Sheryl reveals her rules for living. This is Divahood A-Z—from the practical to the spiritual, featuring advice on everything from relationships to fashion to success in the business world. So, the next time someone calls you a diva, you’ll just smile and say “Thank you!”
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About the author

Original DREAMGIRL, Sheryl Lee Ralph is an acclaimed veteran of film, television and the Broadway stage.
Her award winning body of work includes creating and originating the role of Deena Jones on Broadway in the landmark musical Dreamgirls, which earned her both a Tony and Drama Desk Award Nomination for Best Actress.

On television, Sheryl Lee has starred in It's a Living, her own series New Attitude, the George Foreman series George and in the hit comedy Designing Women. She was also voted one of TV's Favorite Moms for her portrayal of step mom Dee on the number-one rated television series Moesha.

Her extensive film credits include Sister Act II with Whoopi Goldberg, The Flintstones with Rosie O'Donell, The Mighty Quinn with Denzel Washington, Mistress with Robert De Niro, and Eddie Murphy's Distinguished Gentleman. Sheryl Lee's performance with Danny Glover in To Sleep with Anger won her the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Mother of two, Sheryl Lee Ralph loves every moment of raising her children. Recently married to State Senator Vincent Hughes of Pennsylvania in what Entertainment Tonight called, "The most elegant and romantic wedding of the summer!" she acknowledges that love is the greatest gift to be given and shared.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Mar 13, 2012
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781451608816
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / General
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The outrageously funny, heartbreaking, and surprising story of Tracy Morgan's rise from ghetto wiseass to superstar comedian.

Who is Tracy Morgan? The wildly unpredictable funnyman who rocketed to fame on Saturday Night Live? The Emmy-nominated actor behind the sly and ingenious character Tracy Jordan on the award-winning hit sitcom 30 Rock, whose turbulent personal life often mirrors that of his fictional alter ego? Is he Chico Divine, the life of the party–any party, anytime, anywhere–getting ladies pregnant everywhere he goes? Or is he a soulful, tender family man who emerged from a hardscrabble ghetto upbringing and, against all odds, achieved superstardom, raised a solid family, prevailed over a collection of lethal bad habits, and is still ascending new heights and coming into his own? The answer is: Tracy Morgan is all that. And a bag of potato chips with a 50¢ soda.

When he was just a boy living in the Tompkins Projects in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, being funny was about survival. With the right snap, Tracy could shut down the playground bullies who picked on him and his physically disabled older brother. And with a wild enough prank, he could exact revenge on whoever stole his Pumas at the community pool. Later, being funny was about escape–from the untouchable sadness of his father's death, from the desperation of the drug dealer's trade, from the life-and-death battles waged on the streets of the South Bronx in the age of crack. But these days being funny is about living his dream–a dream born in the comedy clubs of Harlem and realized on shows like Martin and Saturday Night Live, where he was a cast member for seven years, and in movies like The Longest Yard and Half-Baked.

With brutal honesty and his trademark take-no-prisoners humor, Tracy tells the story of his rise to fame, with all its highs and its many lows–from the very public battles with alcohol and diabetes that threatened both his career and his life to the private and poignant end of his twenty-year marriage. In his singularly warped and brilliant way he muses on family, love, sex, race, politics, ambition, and what it takes to bring the funny.

Hilarious, inspiring, searing, and touching, I Am the New Black is a fascinating peek inside the minds of one of the most compelling and defining comedians of our time.
Dionne Warwick made her singing debut in church at the request of her grandfather, the Reverend Elzae Warrick, when she was six years old. No one knew then that she would become an international music legend, but what she knew—as words of wisdom passed down from her grandfather—was that "if you can think it, you can do it." And she did it. Dionne released the first of more than fifty-six charted hits in 1962 with "Don’t Make Me Over," followed by "Anyone Who Had a Heart," "Walk On By," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Alfie," and "A House Is Not a Home," to name a few. She received her first Grammy in 1968 for "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" and later recorded the classic hit "That’s What Friends Are For." She was considered the voice of Burt Bacharach/Hal David compositions, and the rest is here, in her first autobiography. Dionne tells the stories of her life from her childhood in East Orange, New Jersey, in a two-family home with her parents, brother, and sister, to now, as she celebrates her fiftieth year in show business.

She came by her musical gifts honestly. Her mother, Lee Drinkard Warrick, was a founding member of the legendary Drinkard Jubilairs, which included her mother’s siblings Cissy, Marie, Annie, Nick, and Larry. Cissy went on to become a celebrated recording artist in her own right; she lived in the Warrick household, got married, and later gave birth to one of the most popular singers of our time, Whitney Houston. Dionne went on to start her own gospel group with her sister, Dee Dee, called the Gospelaires. Her father, once a Pullman porter, became an accountant, went on to promote gospel records for Hob Records, and wrote a book on gospel music. She attributes her strong family, who are faithful and industrious Christians, for keeping her grounded and giving her the fortitude, as well as the talent, to earn her place among world-class performing artists without losing herself or her soul.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction, Five-Carat Soul, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography.

The incredible modern classic that Oprah.com calls one of the best memoirs of a generation and launched James McBride’s literary career.

Over two years on The New York Times bestseller list

Who is Ruth McBride Jordan? A self-declared "light-skinned" woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her twelve black children. James McBride, journalist, musician, and son, explores his mother's past, as well as his own upbringing and heritage, in a poignant and powerful debut, The Color Of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother.

The son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white, James McBride grew up in "orchestrated chaos" with his eleven siblings in the poor, all-black projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn. "Mommy," a fiercely protective woman with "dark eyes full of pep and fire," herded her brood to Manhattan's free cultural events, sent them off on buses to the best (and mainly Jewish) schools, demanded good grades, and commanded respect. As a young man, McBride saw his mother as a source of embarrassment, worry, and confusion—and reached thirty before he began to discover the truth about her early life and long-buried pain.

In The Color of Water, McBride retraces his mother's footsteps and, through her searing and spirited voice, recreates her remarkable story. The daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi, she was born Rachel Shilsky (actually Ruchel Dwara Zylska) in Poland on April 1, 1921. Fleeing pogroms, her family emigrated to America and ultimately settled in Suffolk, Virginia, a small town where anti-Semitism and racial tensions ran high. With candor and immediacy, Ruth describes her parents' loveless marriage; her fragile, handicapped mother; her cruel, sexually-abusive father; and the rest of the family and life she abandoned.

At seventeen, after fleeing Virginia and settling in New York City, Ruth married a black minister and founded the all- black New Brown Memorial Baptist Church in her Red Hook living room. "God is the color of water," Ruth McBride taught her children, firmly convinced that life's blessings and life's values transcend race. Twice widowed, and continually confronting overwhelming adversity and racism, Ruth's determination, drive and discipline saw her dozen children through college—and most through graduate school. At age 65, she herself received a degree in social work from Temple University.

Interspersed throughout his mother's compelling narrative, McBride shares candid recollections of his own experiences as a mixed-race child of poverty, his flirtations with drugs and violence, and his eventual self- realization and professional success. The Color of Water touches readers of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son.

 

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