Many people assume that Sheryl Lee Ralph earned a legion of devoted fans with lipstick, lashes and her star performances on Broadway, film, and television, but in reading REDEFINING DIVA: LIFE LESSONS FROM THE ORIGINAL DREAMGIRL (Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing; March 13, 2012; $14.00) you will learn that this Diva is something far more special:
Sheryl Lee Ralph’s superstar performance as the original Deena in Broadway’s groundbreaking musical Dreamgirls didn’t happen overnight. First came a grueling Hollywood apprenticeship, where she was often too tall, too short, too black and not black enough for the roles often offered to young black actresses at the time. Sheryl Lee, however, held stubbornly to the values of her mother and grandmother: she wouldn’t take any part she couldn’t be proud of. Even after joining Dreamgirls—where she helped create a role that grew from her own life story—she would invest years of sweat and tears before the musical finally opened to instant acclaim.
In these highly personal reflections, Sheryl Lee Ralph reveals her inspiring take on living life well, her supposed feuds with Diana Ross and Jennifer Holliday, on auditioning for Sidney Poitier, on her controversial exit from the TV series Moesha, and how she signed away her rights to Dreamgirls for a dollar. Part memoir, part self-help, Sheryl uses her life story to illustrate her vision: black, white, or any other color of the rainbow, a true Diva is a person of strength, character, with a beauty that radiates from within. REDEFINING DIVA will inspire every woman (and man) who reads it to examine the potential in their own life.
ABOUT SHERYL LEE RALPH:
Sheryl Lee Ralph originated the role of Deena Jones in Dreamgirls on Broadway and was nominated as Best Actress for both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards. The star of numerous TV shows—including Moesha and Designing Women—her extensive film credits include costarring with Robert De Niro in Mistress and Denzel Washington in The Mighty Quinn. A mother of two with a blended family of four, Sheryl is married to Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes. She welcomes visitors to her website at www.sherylleeralph.com.
REDEFINING DIVA: LIFE LESSONS FROM THE ORIGINAL DREAMGIRL
By Sheryl Lee Ralph
Publisher: Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing
Publication Date: March 13, 2012