Heart health has played a big role in Vanessa Williams’ life. Burlington recently caught up with Multi-Platinum Recording Artist, Award Winning Actress and New York Times Best-Selling Author Vanessa Williams and Jillian Hervey of Electro-Soul duo LION BABE to learn more about what they’ve been up to and their commitment to women’s heart health.
How has heart disease touched your life?
Vanessa Williams: My family has a long history with heart disease. My father’s mother died at 28 of a heart attack, my mothers’ mother died at 65 of a heart attack and my grandfather died at 53 of a heart attack. Heart disease and heart health has been a close issue to us for our entire lifetime.
Jillian Hervey: Due to our family history, my mother made sure we had a heart healthy lifestyle which consisted of healthy meals and encouraging us to always stay active. My siblings and I all played a ton of sports growing up, and my mom and I both were dancers.
What steps have you taken for you and your family to live a healthy lifestyle?
VW: I get heart health tests diligently and make sure my kids are always aware of their numbers. That's the lifestyle I was brought up with as my parents were aware of both sides of their family health history. My parents started great habits for us that I showed to my children that they continue to practice. All my kids like staying active and staying healthy; they dance, swim, ride horses, ski and even teach Pilates.
JH: I am in the studio sometimes for hours recording music, so I’ve started to bring a yoga mat with me to help keep my heart rate up. I also like trying vegan recipes and grabbing turmeric lattes with my friends. I think it’s important to have fun and eat what you want when you want; balance is key! And, if all else fails, I can always count on my mom to pull me out of bed for a fun workout class.
Why is it important for you to join our #KnockOutHeartDisease campaign?
VW: Heart disease touches the lives of so many women, as it has touched mine, and I’m honored to join Burlington and WomenHeart’s #KnockOutHeartDisease campaign to help educate women on the importance of their heart health. I encourage everyone to get their heart health screening, since there is power in knowing your numbers. You’ve got one body and one life, and it’s imperative to take care of it.
JH: I’m excited to team up with Burlington and WomenHeart to educate young girls and women on the importance of understanding heart health at any age. When you get you’re a free heart health screening at a select local Burlington on March 20, you can see your numbers right away and that can really inspire you to take a step towards a healthier lifestyle. You can find locations offering free screenings by visiting here.
What is the 1 thing that you want women to know about heart disease?
VW: 48 million women are living with or at risk of heart disease, and one in four women dies of heart disease in the United States. It is the number one killer of women and kills more women than all cancer’s combined.
JH:Heart disease can affect you at any age, so it is really important to know your numbers and get your heart health checked.
Where do you suggest women get information about heart disease and support for women with heart disease?
VW: I think it is very important for all women to know as much as they can about heart disease and that there is support out there. As we saw from working with the WomenHeart champions, WomenHeart is a wonderful and one of a kind resource. I would encourage anyone who can to get involved with WomenHeart. Whether that means donating a dollar or more to WomenHeart at Burlington stores or going to get your free heart health screening at select Burlington locations.
JH:I think just taking the first step to go get your heart health checked is really important. From there, I would encourage young women to take a look at WomenHeart’s website to find as much information you can about heart disease to make sure you’re not at risk.
What other projects are you currently working on?
VW:I just finished performing in the musical Hey, Look Me Over on Broadway in NYC and will be releasing new music at the end of the year.
JH:I will be performing at Coachella this spring and we are going to do a tour before then that we haven’t announced yet. LION BABE also just released a new song called Honey Dew.
At Burlington, we’re all about personal style and achieving it with great values. Can you share with us what your personal style is?
VW:I definitely love comfort, but I'm not obsessed with specific labels, and that's pretty freeing!
JH:I think having your personal style is really important. I think, like many forms of art, fashion is a great way to express and communicate to people of all different walks of life.
What do you admire about your mother’s style? What do you admire about your daughter’s style?
VW:Jillian has always had a great sense of style and really expresses herself through her clothing which I admire.
JH:I enjoy her ability to be glamorous, and casual authentically. She has a great sense of what fits her well, so no matter what she wears, she always looks amazing.
Growing up, did Jillian borrow things from your closet without asking?
VW:Jillian borrowed my Chanel as she got older but when she was younger, she borrowed mostly from her older sister...who was not happy about it!
Do you give each other fashion advice?
VW:My eldest daughter Melanie is the fashion guru and stylist of the family and we all defer to her.
JH:I have gotten advice from my mom all my life. There are a lot of girls in the family, so we all give each other compliments, or share tips, etc. It's great to have her opinion.
Join us to #KnockOutHeartDisease, the leading cause of death in women. It's simple!