Natina Reed, 32: Singer, model, actress, mother

As an 8-year-old model and budding actress, Natina Reed didn’t know she was already living her dreams. She had advertising work lined up, she’d done campaigns for Macy’s and Bloomingdales, and she’d already done a hot dog commercial the year before.

“They told me I should take her out of school, she had so much work lined up,” said her mother, Tamara Goodridge, of Covington. “But when I asked her if that was what she wanted to do at the time, she said no, that she wanted to be a veterinarian.”

But by the time Reed hit her teens, she was well aware. She was a songwriter and was a member of the R&B girl-group Blaque, which is an acronym for Believing in Life and Achieving a Quest for Unity in Everything. And to top it off, she and fellow group members followed up their platinum hits with parts in a couple of movies and a television series.

“She loved acting,” Goodridge said. “The group was extended the opportunity to work on the soundtrack for the Marvin Gaye movie that is to be filmed, and she was looking at a role in the movie.”

Reed died suddenly Friday when she was struck by a vehicle while walking along on Lawrenceville Highway near Hamilton Road, just north of Lilburn, according to police. She was 32.

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A funeral is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday at Abundant Life Church, Lithonia. Willie A. Watkins is in charge of arrangements, and a public viewing is scheduled for Friday at the funeral home’s special event center in Lithonia.

Reed was born in Queens, New York, but by her fourth birthday her parents moved the family to Atlanta. While growing up, her father pastored a church where she played drums and was an active part of the drama ministry.

She attended Cedar Grove High School in DeKalb County, and in 2000, long after she’d finished high school, she reprised her role as a student in the movie “Bring It On.” On the big screen she and fellow Blaque members were part of the East Compton Clovers’ cheerleading squad.

One of her most treasured roles however, was that of mother, her father said.

“She was tremendously excited to be a mother,” said the Rev. Paul Reed, of his daughter. “Tren was her priority from that point on.”

Reed said he and Goodridge were exceedingly proud of their daughter who, though she’d grown up, they still considered “their baby.”

“In the midst of trials and tribulations, she’d make a way,” he said. “Especially for Tren. She’d make sure he had everything he needed, no matter what.”

One of her dreams that she had yet to fulfill was going to college to become an entertainment attorney, her mother said.

“I think that would have been part of her latter journey,” Goodridge said. “She was full of so much hope and promise.”

In addition to her parents and son, survivors include, sisters, Niesha Reed of Atlanta, Genni Reed of New York; brother, Michael Whalen of Atlanta; grandparents, John A. and Florine Reed of New York; step-father Mark Goodridge of Covington; step-mother Luci Reed of Atlanta; and seven step-siblings in London.

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