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Rapper, singer and actor Ashante “PT” Stokes is on a mission to use his versatile talents to make a joyful noise unto the Lord at the end of each day.

“We all have a purpose. Some people embrace it and some people hide from it. If you’re constantly making a joyful noise, the universe has no choice but to yield that back,” explained Stokes who resides in Atlanta but has paternal ties to Monessen and Clairton.

His father grew up in Mon City while his grandfather owned a pharmacy in the city of Clairton. Stokes spent a year of his early life in the Steel City with his grandparents and so places like Kennywood and Clairton Park have special meaning to Stokes.

“We would hold family reunions every other year in Clairton Park and when I spent a year in Pittsburgh I got accustomed to Pittsburgh and the roller skating rink and the mill in Monessen,” he recalled. “It was always a great time with my family.”

Stokes recently returned to Monessen earlier this summer for a family reunion before returning to the A.T.L. to continue filming the TV movie, “Bessie” a biopic about legendary blues performer Bessie Smith who rose to fame in the 1920s and ‘30s. The movie will feature rapper/actress/talk show host Queen Latifah in the title role and other notables like comedienne/actress/talk show host, Monique and actor Charles S. Dutton.

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