Ann Nesby (born Lula Ann Bennett; July 24, 1955) is an American R&B, gospel, and dance music singer and actress. She is the former lead singer of Sounds of Blackness; a songwriter with credits including hits sung by Patti Labelle and Gladys Knight; plus she co-starred in the 2003 romance musical The Fighting Temptations with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Beyoncé Knowles. Nesby had various appearances on the hit television series American Idol. In 2000, she duetted with Al Green on “Put It On Paper”. Nesby has been nominated four times since her departure from the Sounds of Blackness, most recently for her 2007 album This Is Love; plus the lead single “I Apologize” was nominated for a Grammy at the 2008 Grammy Awards.
Nesby joined Sounds of Blackness in the late 1980s. The Sounds of Blackness were awarded two Grammys in 1991 and 1993, and Nesby sang on a number of their tracks including “I Believe,” “Optimistic,” “I’m Going All The Way,” “Soul Holiday,” and “The Pressure.” In 1991, she provided backing vocals to Alexander O’Neal’s album All True Man.
In 1996 Nesby released her debut solo album, I’m Here for You. Her “Witness Ep peaked at #42 in the UK Singles Chart in December 1996.
Tyler Perry cast Nesby in a lead role in his 1998-2000 stage production, I Know I’ve Been Changed. By 2002, Nesby released her second album, Put It on Paper. The lead single of the same title featured Al Green, leading Nesby to her first solo Grammy nomination in 2003, and the album included Nesby’s first #1 song , on the dance chart, “Lovin’ is Really My Game”, a cover version of the 1977 hit dance tune by Brainstorm.
She appeared in the 2003 film, The Fighting Temptations. Nesby subsequently garnered three additional Grammy nominations between 2004 and 2008.
Her latest album, The Lula Lee Project debuted at #13 on the US Billboard ‘s Top Gospel Album Chart and #57 on the R&B chart. Nesby’s latest nominations include – Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group with Vocal for her duet with Calvin Richardson, “Love Has Finally Come at Last” and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for “Sow Love”.