Ledisi Anibade Young (/ˈlɛdɪsiː/; born March 28, 1972, better known simply as Ledisi, is an American R&B and jazz recording artist, songwriter and actress. Her first name means "to bring forth" or "to come here" in Yoruba.in 1995, Ledisi formed the group Anibade. After unsuccessfully trying to get the group signed to a major label, she formed LeSun Records with Sundra Manning. Anibade and Ledisi released an album entitled "Soulsinger" (black and white cover on the LeSun Music independent label) featuring the song Take Time, which gained substantial airplay from San Francisco area radio stations. A twelve-time Grammy Award nominee, Ledisi has released eight studio albums between 2000 and 2017.
Ledisi was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. She grew up in a musical family; her mother, Nyra Dynese, sang in a Louisiana R&B band and her stepfather, Joseph Pierce III, (deceased) was a drummer in the New Orleans area. Her biological father is soul singer Larry Sanders, the son of blues singer Johnny Ace. He left the family when she was a baby and they did not meet again for nearly three decades.
Ledisi first began performing publicly at age eight with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra. Ledisi moved to Oakland, California, where she attended McChesney Junior High School, now Edna Brewer Middle School, where she was shy about her singing abilities. She would sing only upon request when students in her gym class would implore her to sing Deniece Williams' version of Black Butterfly, bringing the entire locker room audience under the spell of her very mature, melodious voice. As she sang more publicly her music career blossomed. She was nominated for a Shellie award in 1990 for her performance in a production of The Wiz and performed in an extended run with the San Francisco cabaret troupe, Beach Blanket Babylon. She studied opera and piano for five years at University of California Berkeley in their Young Musicians Program.