Kristine W will again perform in Chicago, appearing Sept. 12 at the Ravenswood Event Center, 4011 N. Ravenswood, for Test Positive Aware Network's ( TPAN's ) "Aware Affair: Ultra Lounge" fundraiser.
"Chicago is one of the best cities in the world, period," said W, 38, who performed last month at Northalsted Market Days. "There's so much going on [ in Chicago ] ; it's so diverse with such a wide range of people. Chicago has a lot of great art, along with a lot of very creative people, actors, music and musicians. Chicago is just an electric city; I really love it there.
"I had a ball at Market Days. There was so much going on there [ at that event ] ; it was so much fun. I was really excited to be a part of it. It was great, a lot of fun."
Everything seems to be funand successfulfor W, who now has her 14th number-one Billboard hit, "Be Alright."
As of Sept. 12, Billboard.com ranked Be Alright at number 10, but just the company on that list speaks volumes to W's talent. "Sweet Dreams" from Beyonce is currently number one, and the Top 10 also features Madonna ( "Celebration" ) , Mariah Carey ( "Obsessed" ) and Shakira ( "She Wolf" ) .
W's string of number-one dance hits also includes "Land of the Living," "One More Try," "Stronger" and "Feel What You Want." "Be Alright" is the fifth release from The Power of Music album.
Her last full-length album, Fly Again, was released in 2004, and it featured four number-one dance singles.
"It's just odd that I wrote Be Alright about four years ago," said W, who then was getting out of the hospital as a leukemia survivor. "That phrase just kept popping up all the time [ while in the hospital, from doctors and others ] .
"I'm very proud of that song because it's such an honest song, and I'm kind of surprised that people really embraced it. I was writing it back then about trying to get better, but now people embrace it as a song about surviving today's hard [ economic ] times. It really fits what's going on nowadays.
"I love the fact that people have attached themselves to the song and find comfort in that song. It makes me very proud."
W admitted she's kind of surprised at the song's success: "At first, I thought it was very powerful and knew it touched a nerve. But, for 'Be Alright' to go to No. 1, especially considering all of the competition it's up against, that's really big. When I perform that song live, the reaction [ from the crowd ] is pretty incredible."
The Power of Music has been nothing short of sensational. After all, its first four single releases"Walk Away," "The Boss," "Never" and "Love Is the Look"each landed at the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play List.
She said that the song "One More Try" is her favorite "because it really evokes a lot of emotion in people, even though people interpret the song in a lot of different ways."
W said "Love Is the Look" is one of the most baffling songs on her resume. She just never truly thought it'd shine as brightly.
"There's just something about that tune," she said. "It's a fun song and the lyrics are clever. I just never really thought it would be a hit."
When asked what song did not perform like she hoped it would, W responded, "Save My Soul:" "It's a great song, a great message. I was blown away that song wasn't a crossover success."
More Kristine W:
Last name: Weitz
What's life like on the road, considering you spend more than 100 nights per year in hotels? "There's always something neat, something exciting, something different about every city. I love to check out the stores, the restaurants, the temperature of every city. I'm a traveler, an adventurer; I just love to travel. I love to go places I've never been before."
Favorite cities: Seattle, New York City, Atlanta and Chicago
Least favorite city: Detroit ( "The city just depressed me because of the economy." )
Thoughts about American Idol: "I think it's neat because it gives people the chance to get out there and perform, to get recognition."
Would you have tried out on Idol?: "If I was still in high school, and had the opportunity to get on [ Idol, ] yes, I definitely would have done it." ( Kristine W signed with her first record label at age 18. )
What musicians do you enjoy listening to? "I really like great vocalists, like Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Annie Lennox, Al Jarreau, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, George Michael and Luther Vandross."
To attend TPAN's "Aware Affair: Ultra Lounge," see www.tpan.com .