LaTocha's many roles, as told in song titles
Grammy Award-winning singer and GOSPEL Live! co-host Erica Campbell introduces the powerhouse vocalist as an artist "annointed with her own gospel revival" - which alone would be high praise. But when you're talking LaTocha that's only a starting point.
Atlanta's LaTocha actually made her way into musical prominence as LaTocha Scott, one quarter of the multimillion-selling R&B quartet Xscape. In the decades since their 1993 debut "Hummin' Comin' At Cha" she's been chugging along in music, television, fitness, and clothing all while figuring out how to make mushrooms into a buffalo wing substitute.
"GOSPEL Live!," airing at 5 p.m. Feb. 11 on GPB-TV, is just her latest stop.
Not that she stops much lately. During a break from appearing, performing and hosting events in Las Vegas this Super Bowl weekend LaTocha shared some songs that have been key in her multihyphenate life.
LaTocha The Gospel Singer
"I Made A Vow," Willie Neal Johnson & the Gospel Keynotes.
Her parents were the "dynamic duo" of Mt. Olive Church of God Holiness in College Park - as LaTocha remembers - and before she was even in the first grade she was convinced by fellow members that she too could contribute musically. " 'I Made A Vow" was the first song I sang by myself, and I still remember the reaction I got. And how I felt.
"It is a magical testament to me. Taps back into the spirit. Church was and still is a foundation."
LaTocha The R&B Singer
"Is My Living In Vain," The Clark Sisters
"The first time we sang for Jermaine [Dupri] we sang Happy Birthday. Then we were like, 'we're going to make sure he gives us a record deal,' and we sang 'Living In Vain,' a capella. That did it!"
"It's funny because in the beginning when we were digging through the crates of music in his studio, Jermaine introduced me to R&B - because we couldn't really listen to a lot of that growing up. And I introduced him to gospel and The Clark Sisters."
LaTocha The Reality Show Star
Screeeeech. (This is the part where the needle is drug across the vinyl record.)
"I guess people can call me a reality star," she says, as LaTocha has appeared in both R&B Divas and SWV x Xscape: The Queens of R&B. "I don't think I'm one...I'm a real person. A real person who'd rather not claim things with negative outcomes."
LaTocha The Businesswoman
"Jesus, I Love Calling Your Name," Shirley Caesar
As of late, LaTocha has expanded her business portfolio - launching Made Girl, the health and wellness company, and Made Girl the label imprint, which in partnership with Motown/Capitol released her first gospel album, "The Invitation: A Conversation With God." She is also an author, writing the cookbook, "LaTocha's Planted Lifestyle."
Which brings us to Shirley Caesar. "I can't say I listen to any particular music when I cook, but my dad would listen to Shirley Caesar all the time. We all love her. (LaTocha also cites the pastor/singer as an influence in GOSPEL Live!). "I got a chance to finally meet her last year and she gave me some really good advice about staying committed to my faith. And I got to sing, 'Jesus, I Love Calling Your Name,' with her."
LaTocha The Georgian
"Georgia On My Mind," Ray Charles tied with "Welcome To Atlanta," Jermaine Dupri featuring Ludacris
"All I have to hear is that 'Georgia, Georgiaaaaa' - wherever I am - it reminds me of home. Same though, with 'Welcome To Atlanta.' That [piano line], 'dum-dum-duh-dumdum' plays and I'm throwing up the 'A' like, 'peace up, A-Town down!'