The 26-year-old Atlanta native found inspiration in Miami's nightlife, Sade's sultry tunes, and the pop trio that made her a star

By Margeaux Watson
Updated July 06, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Pursuit of Happyness
”Will Smith’s character had such a fight with life, but he never gave up and looked at everything as a positive.”

”I live in Miami now. The city has so much energy. It’s influenced my style, my growth, and some of my music. Miami keeps rocking all night.”

”I’ve never heard music that makes you feel so warm and at ease, besides maybe Miles Davis or [John] Coltrane. Sade can never be duplicated.”

Cirque du Soleil
”When I go to Cirque du Soleil shows, I literally leave crying because I’m so overwhelmed by the color and the movement.”

Oprah Winfrey
”Nobody’s perfect, but she comes so close! She’s like the female version of God. She inspires me to work hard and give back.”

Destiny’s Child
”I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Destiny’s Child. I’m taking pieces of it into my solo career just as far as work ethic and having great shows.”

Martin Luther King Jr.
”He set so many people’s spirits free just by speaking and making them feel like they could do anything.”