After proving she could do it solo — her debut single and self-titled album both hit No. 1 on the charts three years ago — LeToya is ready for people to call her by her own name, without adding that annoying prefix.
"I am now formerly the former member of Destiny's Child," the 28-year-old says with a laugh. "We are now LeToya Luckett, that's what we've been and that's what we will continue to say."
The Houston native will get a chance to show other sides of LeToya with her upcoming acting gigs: She stars in the movie "Preacher's Kid," due out this October, and has a role in 2010's "Five Killers" with Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl.
But before she heads to the big screen, LeToya is releasing her sophomore disc, "Lady Love," out this week.
The CD — which features production and guest vocals from Ne-Yo, Estelle, Ryan Leslie and Ludacris — has a range of breakup songs like "Lazy," a tune about being too tired to try love after a failed relationship, and the uptempo "She Ain't Got," where LeToya's so fed up she is ready to beat "the other woman" with a bat.
The Associated Press: Would you really hit someone with a bat?
LeToya: No. I wouldn't. I've never had a fight in my life (laughs). I am so opposite of violent; lover not a fighter, for real. But I did that record because I know a lot of people would be able to relate to that. If you've been in the situation and you've done everything you can, everything humanly possible to make it work, and this person just can't get it together. And they have the nerve to go out and cheat and think this person that they've known for 10 minutes is going to be able to make things better and you're at that boiling point and it's like, "Oh, I wanna hit you with something!"
AP: There seems to be a lot of breakup songs on the CD. How'd those records come together?
LeToya: I've been single for a while now, and of course girls, we have our girl talks and we talk about each other's crazy experiences in these relationships and so it makes it easy for me to write about my experiences, their experiences.
AP: Do you feel like you've officially ventured away from your Destiny's Child past?
LeToya: I feel that way now, yes. I think that people are now starting to see who I am as an artist and get to know LeToya Luckett and not so much put all the focus on "former member of." You know what I mean?
AP: Do you keep in touch with the other ladies from the group?
LeToya: When we see each other it's very cordial.
AP: How have you grown since being in the group?
LeToya: I'm not afraid to take chances. I don't play it safe as much as I used to. I think when you're so used to being on a team, any team, whether you be an athlete or in a singing group, you have to be a team player, and I'm still a team player, but when you step out on your own, it's all about you. The focus is just on you, those eyes are just on you. So I think I'm accepting that now and it's helping me to grow as a person.
AP: You're starring in "Preacher's Kid" — how was that experience?
LeToya: I learned a lot about myself in filming that movie. I never saw myself doing that, I've always seen myself getting into acting, but being able to cry on the spot — I found myself getting so much into the character that I would take on some of her stress, her pressures, everything that she felt. I'd go straight home with it. And everybody was like, "You got to leave that on the set." But how? It's so deep.
AP: You're doing music, films, fashion (she has two boutiques in Houston) — what else do you want to do?
LeToya: One day have a family, kids. That would be nice (laughs). Got to find that special someone first and marry him and then we'll talk about some kids. Hopefully that's next.
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