Singer/songwriter Raphael Saadiq has had career longevity some artists can only dream of. With over two decades in the business and starting out on the road with Prince at 16, you can certainly call him an icon. (And he still looks 25!) Boys and Girls Clubs of America thought so, too, so they inducted the former member into their Boys and Girls Club Alumni Hall of Fame in Orlando, Florida.
“I went to the Boys and Girls Club in East Oakland,” Saadiq told the Tom Joyner Morning Show. ” I played basketball there and did wood shop. I told everybody I was a latchkey kid so when my mom wasn’t home, I went there. They inducted me into the Hall of Fame and I joined the foundation. They helped bring music to all the Boys and Girls Clubs in America and Africa.”
Saadiq said that he was at the Boys and Girls Club daily as a child. “It was the place where I first played organized basketball. They kept calling 3 seconds on the key on me, so nobody told me what it meant. So I didn’t want to ask my buddies because they was going to laugh at me, so I quit and never played organized basketball again. But other than that I had a good time. ”
The NBA’s loss was music’s gain as Saadiq says that the Clubs helped him fulfill his musical potential. His musician friends were also in the Boys and Girls Club and that helped him stay focused on music.
Ashanti, Denzel Washington and Shaquille O’Neal are other Boys and Girls Club Alumni Hall of Famers. Saadiq is grateful to be in such good company.
“I’m just fortunate and lucky to be amongst people who’ve done so many great things. It’s really fun to get to know so many other people and find out about their experiences in the Boys and Girls Club also.”
Saadiq, who’s current project is “Stone Rollin'” and who’s performed on “The Espys” and “Dancing With the Stars” has just been on tour with Lenny Kravitz. He’s now working on film scores and says a new album will be out sometime soon.
“I’m just trying to keep it positive. My parents are getting up there so i’m trying to spend as much time as I can with them and also travel and make music.”