What I Know Now: What 30 Years in Music Has Taught Angie Stone About Herself

Photo by Breyona Holt & Walter W. Millsap III
"The hardest lesson I ever learned is you should never be too busy making a living that you forget to make a life," says Stone.

Three decades in the music industry has taught Angie Stone a lesson or two in resilience and following your passion. To today’s young singers, the Grammy-nominated Stone advises setting up boundaries and never saying you’ll do "anything" to sell records. As she prepares to release her seventh studio album, DREAM (out November 6), she shared her life lessons with ESSENCE.

The biggest risk I ever took: was walking away from three scholarships in order to pursue my music career. I was a senior in high school and decided to follow my heart.

I'm glad I never: gave up on Jesus.

The moment I knew I made it was when: I was able to retire my parents. To be able to give back to them in some way for all of the gifts and sacrifices they have given me was a defining moment.

My greatest joy in life right now: is where I am spiritually.

I could never have predicted: that at my age I would still be relevant as an artist. I'm still evolving as both a person and an artist and am grateful that I’m still able to share my voice and message. Right now is an exciting chapter in my life.

The hardest lesson I ever learned is: you should never be too busy making a living that you forget to make a life.

I get all of my strength: from God.

The key to my happiness is: ensuring that I’m content enough with myself to be a light to others.

Being in the public eye has taught me: many lessons but most of all it has taught me how to trust in God only. There’s a price to pay for success and in order to survive you must be spiritually grounded.

Making music for a living has been: and continues to be a completely unexplainable joy.

My biggest regret is: not going back to school. There's a certain foundation that was laid down in my early school years that I miss. I may return to fulfill it. When you start in the music business as young as I did, you have a lot of wonderful life experiences that most people never get to experience. At the same time you miss out on a lot. I often find myself reaching back and grabbing at the people and things I missed along my journey. It's a subtle haunting because a piece of you is still searching to fill in the people, places and times that you missed out on.

“2 Bad Habits” is Angie’s first single from her upcoming album.

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