Tyler Perry inspires emerging podcaster to “build her own”

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ATLANTA (AP) — When Tyler Perry talks, people listen and Sheletta Brundidge was one of those hanging on to every word.

Perry told the audience at the 2019 BET Awards that “while you’re fighting for a seat at the table, I’ll be down in Atlanta building my own.” Brundidge, a producer at WCCO Radio in Minneapolis and host of the Two Haute Mamas podcast, was listening.

When Perry — who received the Ultimate Icon Award that night — spoke, Brundidge said she “felt that in my toenails,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“He said to build our own table. So I started the site,” she wrote in a Twitter message. “Then he said help somebody cross. So I went and grabbed a few folks and brought them over with me.”

It was in Atlanta, during the She Podcasts conference this past October, where Brundidge learned to put it all together.

The result is the podcast platform SHEletta Makes Me Laugh. Among the podcasts are “The Teen Whisperer,” with Minneapolis-based counselor Jason Clopton; “J.E.T. Setting Divas,” with globe-trotting travelers Jeanette, Evette and Tina; and “Mommy & Me,” which Brundidge does with her 13-year-old son, Andrew.

“We are perfect foils,” Brundidge said of her son. “But he comes up with his own topics. By the time we have our preshow meeting, he already has 10 ideas, and I pick the final two. He’s a natural.”

Why did Andrew get involved?

“I watch the news every morning and I only see a positive thing about a young black man about once a week. I wanted to help shine the spotlight on some of them and help them be known for what they’re doing,” he told KARE-TV in Minneapolis.

Andrew was one of those positive stories in December. When a fire destroyed a building that sheltersthe homeless in downtown Minneapolis, Andrew and brother Brandon decided to donate their Christmas presents to the kids who lost what little they had. He gave his autographed Kyrie Irving basketball sneakers to one boy “to help inspire him and help him keep pushing through tough times,” Andrew said.

Brandon donated his new UNO card game. “I decided to give it away because I was so excited to play it,” he said.

If the Brundidge name sounds familiar, it’s because another Atlanta entertainer inspired the family last year. On June 4, Brundidge tweeted: “My son Daniel has #autism and doesn’t talk. We caught him humming the @LilNasX and @billyraycyrus tune the other day. Then Bless God, my baby started singing the song on his own. His therapists have started to use it in his sessions!”

Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill and who graduated from a suburban Atlanta high school, even called Brundidge to offer her and Daniel his support.

Brundidge and her husband, Shawn, have four children. The three youngest all have been diagnosed with autism. Another podcast called “Taking Authority Over Autism” deals with that and all that comes with it. She said it “gives moms and dads the tools they need to succeed on their autism journey.”

Brundidge launched her new platform Feb. 1, in honor of Black History Month.

“We’re actually going to be making history in Black History Month and I’m so excited about that,” she told KARE-TV.

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