We Believe In: Ann Nesby
By Darnella Dunham
Updated 5 Hour(s) 37 Minute(s) ago
Music, theater and film have been the platforms that helped Ann Nesby become well known in her career that began over 20 years ago, but music has and continues to be the bedrock. As the lead voice of Sounds of Blackness, she built upon her fan base that has continued to support her as a solo artist. The ensemble won two Grammys; seven of the group's singles have charted on R&R's Urban AC list and five at Urban since 1994. Even though Nesby's voice has been heard on other formats, she has never abandoned gospel.
In 1996, Nesby released her solo debut project, "I'm Here for You," on A&M, and her 2007 R&B effort "This is Love" brought Nesby Grammy recognition of her own with a nomination for her single "I Apologize." It also spent 20 weeks on the R&R Urban AC chart. As a solo artist, her biggest hit on gospel radio (since the inception of the R&R Gospel chart in 2004) is "I Can Go to God in Prayer." Current single "I Found a Place" achieved New & Active status in the May 1 issue of R&R. Radio One's WPZE (Praise 102.5)/Atlanta; Radio One's WPPZ (Praise 103.9)/Philadelphia; Communication System's WFMI (Rejoice 100.9)/Norfolk; Max Media's WXEZ (Star 94.1)/Norfolk; and Clear Media's WNOO-AM (Glory 1260)/Chattanooga, Tenn., have all given "I Found a Place" over 100 plays to date.
Nesby's latest album "The Lula Lee Project," featuring "I Found a Place," is her sixth solo effort and her third gospel album. It was released last month on It's Time Child/Tyscot, and the title instantly evokes one question: Who is Lula Lee? Nesby explains, "Lula Lee is the real Ann Nesby, she is who my family and husband sees on a daily basis. Lula Lee is who I am personally outside the glitz and glamour associated with my ‘Ann Nesby' persona."
Nesby recruited a talented lineup of established producers to contribute to "The Lula Lee Project," including Tonex (John P. Kee, Tarralyn Ramsey, Montell Jordan), Herb Middleton (SWV, Faith Evans, Mary J. Blige), J. Isaac (James Grear & Company, Juelz Santana) and Debra Killings (TLC).
About the project, Nesby says, "This album speaks to the issues affecting the state of the world, our current national recession, to the struggles of everyday life. This project is a reminder that God is still in control. It's my duty to encourage others to rely on God. We don't have to worry because we have a refuge in Him."