Soundtrack Of My Life: Gabrielle Union

'90s teen movie megastar, already has a funeral playlist in her will

The first song I remember hearing

The Charlie Daniels Band – ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia’

“My dad had the 45-rpm single, and it was his jam. He played it back to back to back to back to back to back to back! I have no idea why, but my dad randomly was into country music for a chunk of time in my childhood. It must have been around 1978 or 1979. That’s the one I remember vividly.”

The first album I bought


Anita Ward – ‘Ring My Bell’

“I bought it at the Wherehouse Music store, which has since gone out of business. I was in second grade, so I must have been about 7 or 8 years old. I had a little toy record player that actually worked, so I would play the 45 on my little kid record player.”

The first gig I went to

Earth Wind & Fire at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1970s

“I had an accident. There was so much happening on stage that I didn’t want to miss anything. So, I didn’t tell my mom I had to pee. And I just peed in my seat, because I didn’t want to miss anything. I had to have been very young, and I couldn’t tell you what music was playing. I just remember that I was sitting on my mom’s fake fur coat and I peed on it!”

The song that reminds me of home


Beenie Man feat. Janet Jackson – ‘Feel It Boy’

“Whenever we’re home, I play a certain playlist and this is the first song on it. It’s always what’s playing in my backyard when we’re all hanging out.”

The song that makes me cry

Phyllis Hyman – ‘Old Friend’

“I’m not naturally a weepy person, so if I have to cry in a scene, I listen to this. Phyllis Hyman’s life story is so tragic, and her voice is haunting. I’s a song about a lost love and running into them – the one that got away. The tone in her voice and the vocal gymnastics that she’s able to weave – that song will take you through it. I had to listen to it a lot a few months ago for the [Apple TV+] show Truth Be Told – I cry a lot during season three.”

The song I wish I’d written

Adele – ‘Hello’

“I think we all know the lyrics to this, but I‘m choosing it mainly because it’s sold so many records. I’d like to own the publishing rights to that, if possible.”

The song I do at karaoke

Pat Benatar – ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’

“I’m obsessed with karaoke. I believe every person has to have a go-to song. I have several, so I have to assess the crowd to figure out what it is that they want to hear and then I try to deliver a crowd-pleasing performance. If the crowd is skewing a little older, I’ll go with ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ because I can gravel my way through. It needs a lower, deeper voice like myself.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

McFadden & Whitehead – ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’

“It’s my good luck song. When I hear it, I know something great is going to happen today. It’s pretty accurate.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Beyoncé – ‘Alien Superstar’

“Really anything by Beyoncé. Right now it’s ‘Alien Superstar’. How well I’ll dance depends on how much I’ve had to drink. I’m a solid dancer after at least two straight tequilas. If I’m a Sober Sally, then no, I look like an actual robot.”

The song I can no longer listen to

‘Frozen: OST’ – ‘Let It Go’ by Idina Menzel

“My daughter went through a very heavy Frozen phase. If I never hear it again, I’ll be okay.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Boyz II Men – ‘The End Of The Road’

“I actually have a funeral playlist. It’s part of my living will – I don’t want to leave anything up to chance. I’ve also selected the photos that will be used for the memorial. I don’t care how old I am. If I’m 110, it’s still going to be my cover of the now-defunct magazine, Honey… and it has to be the solo shots, don’t include the ones with LL Cool J in there with me.

“For music, it’s a full playlist, because I want to take you through a variety of emotions. ‘End Of The Road’ by Boyz II Men obviously has to be there, but I also want there to be chuckles and giggles and heartfelt moments. It has to be like the musical, Cats. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. Actually, it’ll be better than Cats.”

Gabrielle Union stars in ‘Strange World’, which is out now exclusively in cinemas

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