Andra Day performed her Grammy-nominated single "Rise Up" at the Celebrity Edge cruise ship's Naming Ceremony in Florida on Tuesday

By Dana Rose Falcone
December 06, 2018 11:35 AM
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Andra Day‘s hit single “Rise Up” has served as an empowering anthem since its 2015 release. But amazingly, the track almost didn’t make the cut for Day’s 2015 debut album, Cheers to the Fall.

“I didn’t anticipate that’s what I was going to do, nor did I plan for it, nor did I even plan for it to be on the album,” she revealed to PEOPLE. “There was actually another song that was slated to be on the album, but we were kind of having trouble with that. And a friend of mine at the label was like, ‘I want to play you something.’ And I was like ‘Oh gosh.’ And he was like, ‘It’s a song you wrote.’ So he played it for me, and I was like, ‘Woah, wait a minute. This is good.’ And then we went through a whole thing. I’m very blessed and surprised by what it’s doing. It’s been incredible.”

Most recently, the 33-year-old singer-songwriter performed the song when she shared the stage with female education activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai at Celebrity Cruises’ Naming Ceremony for its new Edge ship on Tuesday. Yousafzai, 21, serves as the Edge’s godmother.

“They couldn’t have picked a better godmother,” Day told PEOPLE after the ceremony. “She’s such a hero. She’s just such an inspiration, truly.”

Day at the 2018 Grammys in L.A.
| Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty

The newest addition to the Celebrity fleet sets sail later this month and combines the latest technologies with modern luxury to offer guests top of the line dining, immersive entertainment, relaxing pools and space spaces, and Instagramable cocktail bars. With its initiative to create a diverse staff (the Edge has 30 percent more female employees than all others ships) and enforce eco-friendly practices (it replaced plastic straws with paper ones!), the groundbreaking, billion-dollar Edge ship exemplifies the future of cruising.

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“I have never been on a cruise in my life before,” Day said. “But now I have been completely reborn. I love cruises. The rooms are gorgeous. This is an exceptional ship. I understand it. It’s really just relaxation. And sometimes you need that. You really need to be able to unplug. I was hesitant to take the days off, but I’m actually really glad I did that. I think it will help me get my head together”

Day (right) with Yousafzai and Nate Burkus aboard the Celebrity Edge at the Naming Ceremony in Florida on Dec. 4.
| Credit: Courtesy Celebrity Edge

“I really didn’t understand it until I got here,” Day added. “It’s beautiful. I love it.”