09/14/2009 at 01:00 AM EDT
>• As she taps into her hip-hop, R&B, pop and reggae sides on her new album Persona, the 39-year-old singer-actress dishes on the music that has ruled her queendom.
MY FIRST CONCERT Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh. They played on a football field in East Orange, N.J., when "La Di Da Di" was out. It was a big deal. Me and my little homeboys walked across town; it was probably two miles. If I'm not mistaken, it was free. We were broke, so we didn't really go to shows.
MY KITCHEN TUNES Legend by Bob Marley. It gives me that good energy, and you want to make sure you're feeling good when you cook somebody some food. "I Shot the Sheriff" was a big record when I was a kid, since my father was a cop.
MY FAVORITE LOVE SONG "Between the Sheets" by the Isley Brothers. Ron Isley's voice sounds so smooth and sweet, and the chords that his brother [Ernie] plays on the guitar are just amazing. And the beat is rocking!
MY KARAOKE SONG Anything by Prince. "Purple Rain" is good. Usually when I'm doing karaoke, I'm kind of tipsy, but that song is ingrained in me enough that I can still hold on to it despite how many beers I've had.
MY FAVORITE SONG TO SING AS A KID "ABC" and "Dancing Machine" by the Jackson 5. Because they were kids, you could relate to them. Michael had his high voice. Myself, my brother, my mom—we would just dance and dance to their music. It was a family moment in the house.