Alice Tan Ridley, mother of Academy Award-nominated Precious star Gabourey Sidibe, has been singing her heart out in subway stations around New York City three days a week for 18 years!
A R&B/Gospel fixture in the Big Apple, Ridley worked as a nursery-school teacher and a Department of Education teacher’s aide before relocating her act to Manhattan’s train stations — she also croons in Penn Station and 14th Street/Union Square. Although most people would see her daughter as the one with the more glamorous gig, Alice refuses to accept handouts from her kid.
While Gabourey, 26, could be well on her way to a life of a big spending in Hollywood, Ridley — a proud Harlem native — says she’s happy to continue hitting the high notes for straphangers.
“My name is not on Gabby’s paycheck,” Alice explained to The New York Post on Monday. “For a while, I was teaching and doing the singing, burning the candle at both ends to support my family…” Now the songstress says she makes enough money each day to “pay the bills and feed the kids.”