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Songstress Chrisette Michele Returns to Howard Theater

WI Contributing Writer | 8/13/2012, 2:42 p.m.

It seems like New York-born-and-bred songstress Chrisette Michele likes the DMV area, as she returns to the newly-renovated Howard Theater Aug. 14-15 for two shows. Michele, 27, was in the area early last spring and again for Memorial Day weekend. However, it's her versatility, popularity and sheer talent that always bring new energy to old favorites.

Michele's first CD, "I Am" in 2007 won her first Grammy for the song "Be Ok," penned by Michele and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. In 2009, she scored several hits on her sophomore release "Epiphany," which debuted at No. 1 on Soundscan and Billboard charts.

"When I got the call that Ne-Yo wrote a song called "I'm a Star," I was like 'Nope, I ain't singing that!" she said. "Then I heard it and it was all about everything I've been going through the last couple of years. I realized I have will power beyond what I recognized, and that the song is about going through a really tough time and coming out on top."

Now touring in support of her third release, "Let Freedom Reign," Michele always mixes it up in performances, paying tribute to her jazz heroines Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone, in addition to keeping up with the R&B and hip-hop fans with her collaborations with Rick Ross, Ne-Yo and Drake. Yet her lyrics address her own personal journey and instill a sense of female empowerment and self-love.

Michele's performances both nights at the Howard begin at 8 p.m. Tickets, which can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, are $59.50 in advance and $65.00 the day of the show. Seating is first-come, first- seated basis, and a full dinner menu will be available at tables and booths.