From her early days with the all-girl group Sequence to her recent acting endeavors on the Urbanflix TV show Heaux Phase, Angie Stone is widely considered the pioneer of female hip-hop groups. In an exclusive interview with iHeartRadio personality Jazmyn 'Jaz' Summers, the legendary songstress and actress opened up about her remarkable career and some of her struggles in love and parenthood.
Keep scrolling to read the full Q&A!
YOU'VE BEEN IN THE GAME FOR ALMOST 50 YEARS, AND YOU'RE STILL GOING STRONG. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE CURRENT DOMINATION OF FEMALE HIP-HOP ARTISTS?
It's inevitable. Women always find a way to rise up, so it doesn't surprise me. We've been paying it forward since 1979, so it's like a full-circle moment for us.
YOU'VE HAD AN IMPRESSIVE ACTING CAREER AS WELL, FROM APPEARING IN GIRLFRIENDS TO THE HOT CHICK, AND NOW YOU HAVE A ROLE IN THE NEW URBANFLIX TV SHOW HEAUX PHASE. TELL US ABOUT IT.
Oh, man, it was so much fun! Acting has always been my first love, and it's exciting to see it come back into play more as I get older. Heaux Phase is a wild show where I play the mother of the main character. I don't want to give the story away, but a good-looking young cat gets tangled up in a romantic relationship with a mother and a daughter. Of course, I end up going ballistic on him. It's scandalous. You don't want to miss it.
YOUR LOVE STORY WITH D'ANGELO IS EPIC. WOULD YOU SAY YOU HAVE FULLY MOVED ON?
He was the love of my life. I'm not ashamed of it. I'll tell anybody. When you find true love, it is undeniable. You can't deny true love. And at the time when we fell in love, it was definitely a love that I had never experienced before. So when we lost that love, it was almost like a death happened. It was very hard. But because I am a child of the creator, I stomached it and got on through. But it’s been hard to find another love to equal that love. I don't even try to replace it because when it's perfect, how do you find that perfect one again?
LOOKING BACK AT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY WAS THE MOST PAINFUL MOMENT?
The most painful part of that was when people didn’t understand that you can't help who you love, and he was made to feel guilty because he loved me. That's the saddest place to be because I can tell you that our love was equally matched. It wasn't, 'I love him more,' or 'He loves me more.' It's sad because he was made to feel awkward for loving me.
YOU'VE BEEN OPEN ABOUT THE DIFFICULTY OF CO-PARENTING WITH D'ANGELO. HOW HAVE YOU DEALT WITH THAT?
It's hard to love someone else fully if you don't love yourself. I won't tell you that he doesn't love his son because he absolutely loves his son, but when the world is watching and you already have insecurities, that's a very lonely and sad place to be. His own insecurities don’t let him love fully, so I feel like I’m parenting alone. It's very difficult for you to expect someone who's having all those challenges to come right off the springboard in a top-notch position to do it perfectly. He can't. My job as a mom is to secure my son's place in his heart and in my heart, so that my son knows that the way his father is does not mean 'I don't love you.' It translates into, 'I don't know how to do this.'
YOUR SON WITH D'ANGELO IS FOLLOWING IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS UNDER THE NAME SWYAVO TWAIN. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT HIS MUSIC CAREER?
Yeah, he's great. He's worked on my project, and he's doing his second single now that is getting rave reviews. He was down at Outkast's studio last week recording, and they kind of all just embrace him. He's a good, big little teddy bear. And he's just super talented.
YEARS AGO, YOU WERE ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY KNOCKING OUT YOUR DAUGHTER'S TEETH IN A FIGHT. WHAT'S THE STATUS OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HER NOW?
For people that worry, know this, teeth and tongue fall out, but mama and daughter going to always be mama and daughter. Just never forget that. My daughter and I are in the best position that we've ever been in. She's actually my executive; she's helping me with my social media. She's taking over from a business standpoint. Both of my children are now running my company for me. And you can't get anything past Diamond Stone because as mean as she was to me, she's worse to the world. So when it comes to her mom, she's not having that. Right now, we're thicker than thieves.
YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO GET MARRIED LAST FALL. WHAT HAPPENED?
I was getting married in November. I found out some things about the young man after I went into this whole process and before I could get settled in that good, I was already filing for an annulment or a divorce. Because I am Angie Stone and I have to be very careful of the people that are in my space. Once again, I was vulnerable to love. And that's the problem with finding love in all the wrong places. I just believe that people were waiting on me, waiting on the dust to settle so that they could get in and take advantage. And that's just not what God has me built for. And so I said, 'Absolutely not.' I walked away from it.
YOUR MUSICAL CAREER IS IMPRESSIVE. YOU'VE BEEN NOMINATED FOR GRAMMYS; YOUR RECORDS HAVE GONE GOLD. WHAT IS THE MUSICAL HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER?
I think the musical highlight is when it's infused with gospel. I think when the song is inspired by God, it comes out excellent. Like "No More Rain (In This Cloud)," I write some songs metaphorically. And that's been a highlight for me, just recognizing the ones that are from God.
WHAT CAN YOUR FANS LOOK FORWARD TO FROM YOU?
My new album Love Language is out, and I’ll be going on tour. I'm launching a new hot sauce called 400 Degrees, and I'm doing Brother Man Tacos — I'm going to open my own franchise in Atlanta. I also have my Angel Stripes Foundation, where I'm receiving grants to aid and help senior citizens as well as homeless children and kiddies. So I've been giving away Easter baskets, clothes, soap, and toothpaste. Yeah, that is my passion, to give and serve.
This interview has been edited for clarity.