In Your Ear: Actress Kimberly Elise

For actress Kimberly Elise, her soulful music taste is a source of inspiration and relaxation. Her new film "For Colored Girls" is in theaters now. Kimberly Elise shares the songs playing in her ear.

(Soundbite of music)


And finally, we turn to our occasional series we call "In Your Ear." That's where we ask some of our guests about what's playing in their earbuds.

Today, we have with us award-winning actress and star of the film "For Colored Girls" - we were just talking about it - Kimberly Elise. We caught up with her earlier this month to talk about her character in the movie, and we asked her what it meant to be putting on film the classic play by Ntozake Shange. But today, she shares with us her music taste that is both smooth and soulful.

Ms. KIMBERLY ELISE (Actor): This is Kimberly Elise, and I love to listen to Van Hunt's song "Precious."

(Soundbite of song, "Precious")

Mr. VAN HUNT (Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer): (Singing) Tonight, you have no worries with me here. My time, my time is as free as your tears. Let them rise with the wind and fall on me tonight. You have no worries. No worries tonight.

Ms. ELISE: I think it's lyrically beautiful. It's romantic. It's honoring women and the beauty of women, and it makes me feel romantic and lovely.

(Soundbite of song, "Precious")

Mr. HUNT: (Singing) 'Cause she, she thought that she had no one to make her feel like nothing less than a precious jewel. But you know that you are. Precious as the morning sun. You know that you are. Precious as the deep blue sea. Baby, you know you're the one. Baby, you know you're the one most precious to me.

Ms. ELISE: Another song that I really love to listen to is "Brown Skin," by India Arie.

(Soundbite of song, "Brown Skin")

Ms. INDIA ARIE (Singer-songwriter, musician): (Singing) Brown skin, you know I love your brown skin. I can't tell where yours begins, I can't tell where mine ends.

Ms. ELISE: It's a beautiful homage to women and self-pride, self-love, self-respect, and just the harmony that resonates within all of us - and the beauty of brown skin. Love it.

(Soundbite of song, "Brown Skin")

Ms. ARIE: (Singing) Where are all your people from? Maybe Mississippi or an island. Apparently, your skin has been kissed by the sun. You make me want a Hershey's kiss, your licorice.

Every time I see your lips, it makes me think of honey-coated chocolate. Your kisses are worth more than gold to me. I'll be your almond joy; you'll be my sugar daddy. Brown skin.

Ms. ELISE: When I'm getting ready to go out to something where I need to pump myself up with some energy and some enthusiasm and just a good time, I put on my favorite old classic.

(Soundbite of song, "Purple Rain")

PRINCE (Singer-songwriter, musician): (Singing) I never meant to cause you any sorrow. I never meant to cause you any pain.

Ms. ELISE: By the remarkable Prince. And that would be "Purple Rain."

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of song, "Purple Rain")

PRINCE: (Singing) I only wanted one time to see you laughing. I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain. Purple rain, purple rain.

MARTIN: That was Kimberly Elise. She is one of the stars of Tyler Perry's new film, "For Colored girls." To hear our earlier interview with Kimberly Elise and playwright Ntozake Shange, please go to our website; go to the Program page of TELL ME MORE.

(Soundbite of song, "Purple Rain")

PRINCE: (Singing) Purple rain, purple rain. I only want to see you bathing in the purple rain. I never wanted to be your...

(Soundbite of music)

MARTIN: And that's our program for today.

Im Michel Martin, and you've been listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News and the African-American Public Radio Consortium. And remember, to tell us more, you can always go to and find us under the Programs tab. You can also friend me on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. Just look for TELL ME MORE NPR.

Lets talk more tomorrow.

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