LeToya Luckett is on her way to becoming one of the hardest working women in entertainment. She just starred in her latest film, Drumline: A New Beat, and will soon appear in Lifetime’s Seasons of Love (Nov. 23)—all the while working on her upcoming album, Until Then. The Grammy Award-winning singer and actress spoke with ESSENCE.com about how her faith and her family have helped her get this far.
How would you describe your relationship with God?
I am definitely a woman of faith. My prayer life and my connection with God are on the highest level. I definitely would not be standing here doing what I do were it not for that. It is my only way of survival. My father was a minister so I was raised in the church. I guess I'm a lucky girl because I've always been taught, since I was a little girl, this is who you count on. This is who you lean on. It is my foundation.
Now that you’re older, how has that faith helped you in your day to day?
Things just started happening even without asking. I just let him lead with every single thing. I don't get in the way. A lot of times we get in His way; we get in our own way, and it ends up taking us in the wrong direction. This would be a boring world if we all made the same decisions and all were doing the same thing. The beauty of this whole thing is God has carved out a different story, a different path for all of us. It's up to us to connect to Him and follow it.
Can you recall a time when your faith was tested?
My Grandma passed away of pancreatic cancer. I was like, [God’s] the only one that's going to be able to get me through this. It didn't make the hurt or the pain go away, but there was peace in knowing who she was sitting beside.
How important is prayer in your life?
I know how to fall on my knees, even when I'm having hard days. I know how to go in a corner and just talk to my Daddy (God). Me and my sister and my best friend get on the phone every morning and pray about different things. Even if we can't talk, because both of them have kids and I'm on the road, we shoot each other texts. "What can I pray for you today?” It's a wonderful feeling knowing that you have women of God praying for you. There’s nothing like that.
What does it mean to you to be a woman of God?
We live in different times now. I know my grandmother might have said something like, ‘Hey, pull that skirt down.’ I get it because in older times times women carried themselves a certain way. I still do believe in carrying yourself a certain way and I do my best to be somewhat of a role model. I'm not a perfect person. I'm a human being. I'm not the Lord but I do accept that responsibility and that's why I do try to carry myself with confidence, with poise, with grace, and with class.
This interview has been edited and condensed. Reporting by Charli Penn.