Alice Tan Ridley continues to show up at least three times a week in the 14th Street/Union Square, 34th Street/Sixth Avenue and Times Square/Eighth Avenue subway stations to belt R&B tunes for commuters, despite the fact that her famous daughter has more dough coming in than ever before – one of the sources from a regular role on an upcoming Showtime series.
“My name is not on Gabby’s paycheck,” Ridley told the New York Post. “For a while, I was teaching and doing the singing, burning the candle at both ends to support my family.”
Ridley, who worked as a former nursery-school teacher and Department of Education teacher’s aide, believes she paved the way for her daughter’s breakout role in ‘Precious.”
“Four years ago, they asked me to play the part of the mother,” Ridley said. “But being a mom and teacher, I just couldn’t play that part. It was just too hard. …I read the book, and I gave it to Gabby. Her friends encouraged her to try out for ‘Precious,’ and she got it,” she added.
At the end of the day, the Harlem mother isn’t looking for any handouts, but she has had to limit her subway gigs because her amp needs replaced. “My voice is so big that it’s blown out my amp, so I can’t do more than that until I can afford a new amp,” said Ridley.