Hurricane Katrina Made Richard’s Family Stronger

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April 2, 2012 | 11:26am EST

Singer Dawn Richard is proud of the way her parents have managed to “get right back on their feet” after losing everything they had ever worked for when Hurricane Katrina ripped through her native New Orleans, Louisiana.
The former Diddy-Dirty Money star admits it was heartbreaking to see her mother and father struggle to come to terms with the huge loss in 2005, but seven years on, they have managed to rebuild their lives, and she is convinced the disaster has brought her family closer together.

She tells WENN, “They lost everything but it’s been a few years now and they’ve managed to get right back on their feet and start over, so that was what we had to do, we had no choice.

“But in the midst of that, it made us a stronger family. I think everybody had their time of healing and I think we’ve healed and moved on, but when you lose everything it’s not an easy thing.

“My parents were working for 50-odd years to create a life for their children and it was stripped in a day so that’s a hard thing to see your parents try to figure it out, but they did it, they did it gracefully and with poise.”

Richard recently took a break from promoting her new solo EP Armor On to return to New Orleans and she is glad to see all of her friends and relatives back in the city after having moved of Louisiana following the hurricane.

She says, “The whole family’s almost relocated back home now, so it’s just good to see my grandmother and my immediate and extended family. All my best friends are still there (too) so it’s good to go back and reconnect with where you came from.”

Richard also insists nothing can destroy the spirit of her hometown: “You can’t change the soul of New Orleans! Even if the structure changes the soul stays the same.”