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LeToya Finds Destiny In Solo Career

Of the Oakland Press

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She’s been out of Destiny’s Child for six years, but these days, LeToya Luckett feels like a “Survivor.”

Her solo debut album, “LeToya,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with first-week sales of 165,000 copies. She has a hit in “Torn” and a second single, “She Don’t,” on the way. And after a successful turn on the BET reality show “LeToya: The H-Town Chick,” she’s getting ready for a run on MTV’s “24/7.”

“It’s all pretty amazing,” says LeToya, 25, a founding member of Destiny’s Child who was dismissed, along with LaTavia Roberson, in 2000. “I couldn’t believe (‘LeToya’) was No. 1. My manager told me. My label told me. I still didn’t believe it. I wanted to see it on paper.

“So the president of the label sent me a little gift, and inside he had the Billboard with the No. 1 on it. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh ...’ ”

It’s a stunning comeback from circumstances that would have soured many artists. Never planning a solo career, she and Roberson moved from Houston to Atlanta and tried to form another group, Angel, that never panned out. As she settled lawsuits against Destiny’s Child, LeToya opened a clothes boutique, Lady L, and pursued her real estate license in Houston while also hooking up with producers in Los Angeles who encouraged her to work on her own album.

“LeToya” was four years in the making and, she hopes, will have a long tailwind. At the very least, its success allows her to be more than just an answer to a Destiny’s Child trivia question.

“Destiny’s Child is a part of me, and I know people remember me from that,” says LeToya, who says she’s “cordial” with ex-group mates Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland. “I don’t look down on it; that was part of me. Obviously, they didn’t want me in the situation for whatever reasons. I can’t do anything about it.

was me something different, and things just happened the way they did. I’m trying to come into my own, and I’m just taking it one day at a time right now.”

LeToya opens for Mary J. Blige at 7:30 p.m. Sunday (August 20th) at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road north of I-75, Independence Township. Jaheim also is on the bill. Tickets are $79.50-$89.50, pavilion only. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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