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Regina Belle is known as the voice of a generation of people solely due to hits such as “Baby Come To Me,” and her Aladdin duet, “A Whole New World” with Peabo Bryson. But in her own words, the New Jersey native has shown that it hasn’t all been a crystal stair.

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She was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2009 and left deaf in one ear. Before her surgery, she was hesitant to reveal her diagnosis. “In 25 years of R&B, I’ve never missed a gig. And now I’m cancelling a tour? Because of a brain tumor, what is that?”

Belle revealed in a June episode of Unsung that her surgery, which was supposed to take two hours instead took eight because she bled so badly. It was so bad that she had to go in for a second surgery six months later. Thankfully, the tumor is gone and Belle has since been in great health!

When asked about what’s left on her bucket list she told EURWEB, “Egypt. I want to see the pyramids and the Sphinx of Benin. I found out through doing my DNA background that I am a part of the tribe of Benin in Togo, that’s where my people originate from. So I would love to have a picture of that specific sphinx and go to Benin, go to Togo and see where it is that my people were taken from. I want to kinda sit in that for a moment. I don’t know what kind of emotions may come on me but having that opportunity would be really great.”

As far as maintaining for so long, Regina points to one thing: “God’s grace.”

“I’m so thankful,” Belle said. “Many years ago when I was about to leave and go on the road with the Manhattans, I went to see all my people before I left and one of the things my grandmother said was “Don’t get out there embarrassing us.” And what she was basically telling me was that, don’t get it twisted and don’t even think for one minute that you got here by your own sweat. You got here because we have been praying for you — that generations behind us would end up being better and have a better situation. We paid dues, we suffered, some of us have died so that you may be able to just walk in the front door of the establishments of which you frequent. So don’t believe your own press. Understand that you got the opportunities that you have because many of us sacrificed something for you to get here and I want you to be cognizant of that. Where ever it is you go, understand that you represent somebody or somebodies bigger than you.”

Catch Regina at this year’s Majic Under The Stars on October 20th along a super lineup of Patti LaBelleMidnight Star and The S.O.S Band!

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