Normani ended the phrase “never meet your heroes” when she had a one-on-one with her childhood idol, R&B singer Ciara.
The two singers reconnected during a appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Thursday, which Ciara’s guest hosted. The conversation started off lightly and playfully, with Normani and Ciara recounting an elegant dinner turned into a dance party with Megan Thee Stallion in Venice, Italy. However, things quickly took a sentimental turn when Ciara referred to Normani’s performance at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, which she presented at the ceremony.
“It really meant a lot to me that you could share this moment, you know? Normani told the Grammy-winning singer. “You are someone I have always admired. I always felt that representation was so essential and that being a little girl in my grandmother’s living room was learning the ‘1, 2 steps’ and ‘candy’.
“Literally, the first memories I have, you were part of them, and you really helped shape the artist and the woman I thought I could be. You know, you opened my mind to these possibilities, like black girl magic. “
The heartfelt revelation touched Ciara, who brought tears to her eyes afterward. “Don’t make you cry,” she said. “It’s so awesome.”
Ciara rocked the music world with the release of her debut album “Goodies”, which sold out. 3 million copies to date in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Over the course of her nearly two-decade career, Ciara has accumulated eight top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including the # 1 hit “Goodies.”
This is not the first time that Normani has expressed himself by drawing inspiration from his musical influences. She previously told USA TODAY that the Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland helped her through a “difficult” period almost a year and a half ago when she began to fall in love with music.
“So much around music can kind of tarnish the experience and how you feel about this thing that you really love to do,” Normani said. “She kind of helped me get back to that and my original goal in music.”
Highlighting the impact these women have had on her art and personal growth remains important to Normani, she said.
“They gave me the opportunity to be the black girl that I am today and the black artist and woman I grew up in”, Normani says Entertainment tonight at the 2021 BET Soul Train Awards. “They gave me performance from a young age so that I could, when I was 4 or 5, say to my mom and dad, ‘I wanna be like Janet ( Jackson), I wanna dance like Ciara, I wanna be like Beyoncé. ‘ What I see on TV is who I want to be, and it really opened my mind to the possibilities of who I had the opportunity to become, and to me that means absolutely everything. “
During her conversation with Ciara, Normani also shared that her upcoming debut album was almost done.
“People really underestimate how difficult it is and how much effort we put into a project, a body of work,” Normani said. “Coming out of a girl group, there were a lot of things I had to figure out about myself and the fears that I had to face head on… When you give your baby to the world, which is our music, it’s deepest part of me; you give people the opportunity to take it apart and have an opinion on it, but I believe in what I’m doing now.
Earlier this year, Normani released the sensual slow jam “Wild side,” with rapper Cardi B. The song peaked at # 1 on Billboard’s R&B / hip-hop digital song sales chart, and his music video has amassed over 86 million views.
Contribution: Rasha Ali, Elise Brisco