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Anthony Hamilton hopes his career can inspire aspiring artists

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Prince Williams/Wireimage

After releasing his first album in five years, Love Is the New Black, in September, Anthony Hamilton is celebrating receiving three NAACP Image Awards nominations on Tuesday. The Grammy winner is up for Outstanding Male Artist,and has two nods for Outstanding Duo or Group Collaboration: “Superstar” featuring Jennifer Hudson from the album is nominated, as well the “Complicated” remix with Leela James.

Growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a teenager Anthony chose to be adopted by another family after his mother struggled with substance abuse. He became a father right out of high school and supported his son working as a barber and as a cook. Eventually, at 21 he moved to New York City to pursue a music career, then returned home where his career took off. Last year, Hamilton celebrated his 25th anniversary as a recording artist.

His life has been a struggle, and he believes his journey can inspire others.

“I’m at an age where I’m not ashamed by it,” the 50-year-old singer tells Shadow and Act. “If it can be used to tell the story of Anthony Hamilton, maybe some young kid or one of my own kids can see something in that to push them through to their next level of greatness.”

Now the “Charlene” singer is diversifying and owns the Hamilton Corner Store in Pineville, NC where he sells the southern foods he grew up on.

“I want my own grocery stores in the urban communities like Whole Foods and Publix for my people,” Anthony says. “We deserve the best of the best.”

Hamilton will join Joe on Maxwell‘s NIGHT tour kicking off March 2 in Dallas. They will perform 25 shows, and cities will include New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, and Oakland. The tour wraps in Miami on May 8.

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