Photo by Matt Sayles

A Day In Her Beautiful Life: Lalah Hathaway

The five-time Grammy winner makes sure her downtime between shows stays as soul-fulfilling as her music.

Astrological Sign: Sagittarius

Projects: 2017 Essence Festival and an upcoming as-yet-untitled album co-produced with Tiffany Gouché

I’ll tell you…” she begins, then pauses, when asked “What are you doing right this minute?” It’s just before 10:30 a.m. and Lalah Hathaway is at home in Los Angeles, easing into her midmorning routine. “I’m preparing my coffee machine to feed me the nectar of life,” she says with a laugh. Next she lets her dog, Boston, out in the backyard, hops on her computer and turns on the TV for some spirited roundtable talk. “Yes, I watch The View every day,” Hathaway says proudly. “I just love Whoopi Goldberg!”

A self-confessed homebody, she says the simple things bring her joy (like washing dishes, doing laundry and barbecuing with friends). But when it’s time to hit the road, she’s ready to roll. There are crack-of-dawn flights, hotel check-ins and, of course, sound checks. “I like to be ‘in the room’ before I’m in the room,” says the singer. Once she steps to the microphone, Hathaway gets lost in song, which may include her classic “I’m Coming Back” or the remake of her dad Donny Hathaway’s “Little Ghetto Boy,” which earned her a third Grammy. Hathaway says, “I love telling stories and creating a sound that soothes people or makes them remember something. Music is so deep.

This feature originally appeared in the June 2017 Issue of ESSENCE Magazine.