Turkiye, Culture, Life

'I consider myself a baby in Islam': US singer

American singer Miles, vocalist for Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, says she learned much about Islam in Turkey

Ahmet Esad Sani and Aise Humeyra Bulovali   | 28.05.2019
'I consider myself a baby in Islam': US singer


"Everything is new for me at the moment," said American singer and recent convert to Islam Della Miles on Tuesday, adding: "I consider myself a baby in Islam because there is so much to learn."

Miles, a U.S. jazz singer who has worked with global stars such as Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, told Anadolu Agency that she converted to Islam after having spent time in Turkey, where she said the religion "surrounded" her.

Underlining that she found the Muslim experience to be very strong in Turkey, she said: "Even though there are Muslims in America, where I am from, I have never felt it."

She expressed her love for Istanbul and Turkish culture, saying she had learned much about the religion in Turkey.

"Istanbul is the best place to get the real atmosphere of what Turkey is about," she added.

On the suffering of Palestinian people, Miles stressed that artists had a responsibility to "make statements" when tragedies occur.

"I feel responsible as a human being to support anybody who is considered the underdog and who is in tragedy," Miles said.

On her understanding and experience of being a Muslim, Miles said: "Actions speak louder than words."

"I have seen Muslims whom I know who literally take the shirt off their back to give to someone in need," she said.

She praised Turkish people in this regard saying: "They do not even know who I am but they are making me feel very comfortable."

The youngest of six children, Miles was born into a musical family. Her mother sang and directed music in church while her father was a jazz enthusiast and owner of a music venue.

Also a songwriter, Miles took to the stage with German actor and musician Marius Muller-Westernhagen. In 2012, she took a leading role in the American opera Lulu and later portrayed the wife of former U.S. President Barack Obama in Hope - The Obama Musical Story.

Miles has also worked on tribute albums for Turkish musicians such as Muslum Gurses and Zeki Muren in Turkey.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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