Chrisette Michele says her fans thank her all the time for letting them feel close to her -- through her music, her fun homemade videos and her very active Twitter feed.
It's a treat for them to be part of the Patchogue native's life, as she creates new music, looking to follow up her No. 1 album, "Epiphany," with more Grammy-winning hits.
"What they don't know is how close I feel to them," Michele says, before her hometown return at the NYCB Theater at Westbury Thursday, the kickoff to the "Woman to Woman Tour" she's doing with Keyshia Cole. "They show me pictures of their lives -- their graduations, their weddings, getting their nails done." (Cole and Michele play the Beacon Theatre April 4.)
Michele says that energy, as well as her own personal growth as an artist and as a person, feeds into her upcoming album, "Better," due out in June, and her soulful new single "A Couple of Forevers."
"I am in the best space I have been in since I've been a signed artist," she says. "I have a new sense of myself. I'm more vulnerable and more accessible. I am healed."