Simply call her by the one name, says the San Francisco-born, Oakland-bred singer who reaped international fame as LaToya London on the third season of “American Idol.” She’s back in town, appearing as Nettie in the Best of Broadway touring company of Oprah Winfrey’s “The Color Purple.” The show opens today at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre and runs through Dec. 9.
Why are you going by the name London? Everyone knows me as London; I’ve got it tattooed on my back. I got on “Idol” as LaToya London, and that’s how it ended up sticking. But now that I’m making a break, I’m just going back to what it was.
You became famous as a singer, and now are acting too. How are you enjoying it? I love it. It’s just adding a different element. I’ve always been comfortable up on a stage. I did some stage acting when I was little.
How did you get the role in “The Color Purple”? I went to an audition in L.A. I did great — and that was it. I’m glad. It’s hot. It’s fresh. It’s a great fit.
In addition to working, what will you be doing now that you’re back home? Everyone wants to hang out; I’ll be dividing my time. I’ve got so much on my plate. I’ll take yoga classes. I want to do some vegetarian cooking, and some dancing at Alice Arts. I’m so inspired to dance.
After “The Color Purple,” what’s next for you? I’m beginning to record new songs. They will be more fun, more spunky, more adult contemporary, with more funk, more guitars, more bass and stronger topics. I was a different person before. I just froze and played it safe. I’ve grown up a lot. I want to let people know I’m back. They’ll see a different side of me.
Check out more 3-minute interviews from our San Francisco newsroom.