Singer and actress Naturi Naughton is spreading a message of empowerment -- both in her work onscreen and off. She's starring in a new show on ABC all about women reclaiming their voices, while finding time to volunteer with the nonprofit Saving Our Daughters to inspire young girls to chase their dreams.
"'Queens' is bringing the fierce energy that I think we haven't seen on TV for a while," Naughton said, adding that the show features "women of color that are empowering other women to still feel good about themselves."
The drama, premiering Oct. 19 on ABC, follows four women in their 40s who used to rule the hip hop world with their girl group and are now reuniting in an attempt to recapture their fame. The series stars Naughton, Eve, Brandy and Nadine Velazquez.
"It's like a huge roller coaster ride," Naughton teased. "I have a feeling audiences, at the end of each episode, are going to be clutching their pearls like, 'Oh my gosh, what am I going to do?'"
In addition to encouraging confidence through her work, Naughton is dedicated to setting an example for the next generation. The star has been involved with the nonprofit Saving Our Daughters for over ten years, inspiring young girls across the country.
The nonprofit aims to empower young girls from multicultural backgrounds by helping them overcome social barriers and giving them tools to pursue their dreams within the performing arts. Their Cinderellas program, co-founded by actress and singer Keke Palmer, provides girls across the country with opportunities to meet the celebrities who inspire them.
"Part of what I do as a singer-actress is making sure that I pave the way for the next generation and Saving Our Daughters is doing a great job of building a platform and a foundation for these young women to feel good about their futures," Naughton said.
Naughton recently paid a visit to North Douglas County Elementary in Douglasville, Georgia to read her father Ezra Naughton's book, "A Fable of Love," to the young "Cinderellas" and answer their questions.
When kids ask how she "made it," Naughton credits icons like Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, and even her "Queens" co-stars Brandy and Eve, who showed her that achieving success was possible. Now, she's paying it forward.
"All these 'Daughters' and 'Cinderellas' out here, they're like my babies. And they're all growing up to do beautiful things," Naughton added.
"Queens" premieres Tuesday, Oct. 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT | 9 p.m. on ABC, next day on Hulu.