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It’s a weird thing to be this 25-year overnight success: Lalah Hathaway talks career and new single


Phil McCarten/CBSFor some fans, Lalah Hathaway‘s career — including two Grammy wins this year — appears to be an overnight success story. But, the singer tells Billboard that her career, like many other good things, took some time to develop. 

“It’s a weird thing to be this 25-year overnight success. When I was in my 20s, I looked around at the girls that were at my station and wondered why it was happening for them and not me. Is it management, the publicity, the records I chose, the record label, the way I look?” she says.

“I was just trying to figure out ways to make it pop. Then I realized within the last 10 years that I wouldn’t trade what I’ve done and am doing. Some people hit right away and then fall off. Some go through peaks and valleys. I’ve been on this steady rise and feel like I’m getting in that door.” 

Still, through all of her professional trials and tribulations, Lalah continues to do extraordinarily well for herself, with Grammy wins this year — for Best Traditional R&B Performance and Best R&B Album — to add to three prior Grammys, and a new single, featuring Lecrae, called “Don’t Give Up.” 

“It will be different for my fans to hear a record from me without bass, guitar, piano. It’s not necessarily vibe music but soul music that’s a little more electronically informed. The lyrics are kind of a call and response to what’s happening in the world right now,” she adds.

“Everybody is feeling a certain sense of resignation. So the song’s message focuses on one thing: don’t give up the fight; resist.” 

“Don’t Give Up” is available to stream now. 

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