Mom of 'Precious' Actress Sings in NYC Subways 'To Pay The Bills'
By PopEater Staff Posted Feb 9th 2010 10:19AM
Although Gabourey Sidibe recently earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance in last year's 'Precious,' her mother is still singing underground in New York City subway stations to make money. Alice Tan Ridley shows up at least three times a week to sing her heart out and wow commuters with her R&B act. "My name is not on Gabby's paycheck," Ridley told The NY Post. "For a while, I was teaching and doing the singing, burning the candle at both ends to support my family," Ridley said. And now she has turned singing into her full-time career to put food on the table each night. Watch after the jump.
Ridley worked as a former nursery-school teacher and Department of Education teacher's aide. But now she makes her money in the 14th Street/Union Square, 34th Street/Sixth Avenue and Times Square/Eighth Avenue subway stations.
Ridley believes she paved the way for her daughter's breakout role in 'Precious.' "Four years ago, they asked me to play the part of the mother," Ridley said. "But being a mom and teacher, I just couldn't play that part. It was just too hard."
"I read the book, and I gave it to Gabby. Her friends encouraged her to try out for 'Precious,' and she got it," she added.
At the end of the day, the Harlem mother isn't looking for any handouts, but she has had to limit her subway gigs because her amp needs replaced. "My voice is so big that it's blown out my amp, so I can't do more than that until I can afford a new amp," said Ridley.
Gabourey Sidibe Snapshots
Gabourey Sidibe attends the Australian premiere of "Precious" at the Dendy Opera Quays on January 28, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. More photos >>
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