Monica Pearson One on One: Angie Stone is a pioneer for female R&B, hip hop musicians

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Angie Stone rose to fame in the late 1970s as a member of the hip hop trio The Sequence. In the early 1990s, she became a member of the R&B trio Vertical Hold and released her solo debut Black Diamond in 1999.

Her second album Mahogany Soul was released in 2001 and the albums Stone Love (2004) and The Art of Love & War were released in 2007.

“Life’s challenges have taught me at 60 that you don’t have to have everything all the time,” Stone recently told Peachtree TV’s Monica Pearson. “You have to choose life; you have to choose joy. You have to choose desire. And what I’ve decided to do, instead of working so hard to help other people and working so hard to be accepted by people, I decided to work really hard in being better to myself because we run ourselves down trying to be whatever we can be for everyone else.”

Stone is originally from Columbia, South Carolina, and has earned three Grammy nominations, three Gold albums and has sold five million records.

When Stone’s son and daughter announced they wanted to enter the music business, Stone decided she would take an active part in their career decisions. “Both my kids are very talented and there’s a point where I allow them to be their own individuals, but I think they have now learned that when it’s time to really make the right choice, they come to Mom [and ask] ‘Mom, would you be OK?’”

Stone completed an album before the pandemic called Full Circle but which hasn’t been released. “Mary J. Blige would really love repackage it and rerelease it because people didn’t get to hear it; it’s an amazing album,” Stone said.

“The second thing I’m doing is I’m really ushering in the next generation of artists. I’m working on a television concept that I’m super excited about that I was shot some episodes with, and [for which] I’m looking for a home. I’m just trying to be creative in the film and television world. I also created this show called Diamonds in the Rough that I’d like to see come to fruition.”

Stone has won two Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards and, in 2021, received the Soul Music Icon Award at the Black Music Honors.

“To be defined that way is for me,” Stone said of her most recent honor. “It was unbelievable because I came up in the industry with the Whitney Houston’s, the Alicia Keys and being overweight. Being talented was not enough. You needed to be more. And because of health reasons, I could only go as far as I could go. So when I hear icon, I’m like, are you really talking about me?

“Because as hard as it’s been for me, why would anybody give me an Icon Award? And like I say, that I stopped making it about me in those times. And it was about the people. I had really accepted the fact that if my concerts were good and people walked away happy, my job was done. So I learned to not expect anything extra.”

Monica Pearson: One on One is an interview-themed series featuring the legendary Atlanta journalist.