Ledisi got her start performing in the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra when she was just 8 years old.
Now, she's become a two-time-Grammy nominated artist with two albums under her belt. Her latest, "Turn Me Loose," is in stores now. And she appeared in The Early Show on Saturday Morning"'s "Second Cup Cafe" from New Orleans to perform a special gospel tribute, "I Feel Like Going On," along with "What A Wonderful World."
Music runs in Ledisi's family: Her mother sang in a Louisiana R&B band and her stepfather, the late Joseph Pierce III, was a drummer in the New Orleans area.
While Ledisi didn't grow up in New Orleans, all of her family resides there. That personal connection, as well as the debilitating effects of Hurricane Katrina, made a huge impact on her music.
In 2007, Ledisi released "Lost & Found," which garnered her the two Grammy nods, including one for Best New Artist. Last August, she released "Turn Me Loose."
After the huge success of "Lost & Found," Ledisi, ironically, felt somewhat lost herself, and experienced writer's block for six months. But with the help of a friend, who gave her a copy of Buddy Miles' 1970 soul-rock classic, "Them Changes," she experienced some creative and lyrical changes.
"I had never heard it before," Ledisi says in her official bio. "Once I heard it, I wanted to be able to be free on the new album. On my previous album, I was contained a little bit. But I said on my next project that I was going to be off the chain vocally. I promised to be more honest and talk about stuff that people don't like to talk about. I've always done that. But on this album, I went for everything."
Sunday, Aug. 29 marks the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall on the Gulf Coast, on its way to becoming the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, leaving more than 1,800 people dead and causing more than $80 billion in damages.