Written by | Ray Cornelius 

When R&B singer-songwriter Avery*Sunshine hits the stage this week as part of the NuSoul Revival Tour, she’ll be tapping those ivory keys in memory of her maternal grandmother and maternal great-grandmother. Both women succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease and were very instrumental in her development as a vocalist.

The “Come Do Nothing” singer told me during our recent “UPFRONT” interview that the entire 22-city tour (which kicks off Friday, February 3 in Raleigh, NC), will bring awareness to the disease that disproportionately affects African Americans more than their White counterparts.  According to ALZ.org, Blacks are two times more likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer’s disease than Whites and less likely to have a diagnosis of their condition, resulting in less time for treatment and planning.

Ray Cornelius with Avery*Sunshine

“We want to bring light to Alzheimer’s. I watched my grandmother deal with my great-grandmother and I was 13 or 14 when we were dealing with that. For me, I thought that’s just what happens to elderly people. But then I saw my mother deal with my grandmother and at that time I was 24 or 25 and it definitely took on a different meaning,” said Sunshine during our one-on-one interview in January.

Sunshine also talked about how her family dealt with her grandmother being physically abused at a nursing home facility and the toll it took on her mother as the caretaker.

“We hope that we bring some light to this issue and we provide some respite from all of it for some of the caretakers. Our goal is to make people feel better. If you’re at 75 % we want you to be at 125%, when you leave the show. ”

Check out the entire interview and click here for the remaining dates of the “NuSoul Revival Tour” featuring Sunshine + Musiq SoulChild, Lyfe Jennings and Kindred Family Soul.

Photo Credit: NuSoulRevivalTour.com and RayCornelius.com