Chrisette Michele

Chrisette Michele

Singer-songwriter Chrisette Michele was born Chrisette Michele Payne on December 8, 1982 in Central Islip, New York. She began singing at a young age in church and by high school, was leading gospel choirs. At the same time, she started learning jazz standards on piano. She attended Five Towns College and studied jazz and vocal performance.

Michele was discovered by India Arie, Angie Stone, and Kem at an underground Manhattan club, and they all vied for her to be their opening act. By 2006, she was signed to Def Jam. She was featured on Jay-Z’s single “Lost One,” and Nas’, “Can’t Forget About You,” in 2006 before releasing her debut album, “I Am,” in June 2007. It peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and number five on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Michele was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2008. She won the award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for her song “Be Ok” and was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for the song “If I Have My Way.” She appeared on The Roots’ album, “Rising Down,” on the track, “Rising Up,” and she also wrote a song for the sitcom “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” that same year. In summer 2008, she co-headlined a tour with Raheem DeVaughn. In May 2009, she released her second album, “Epiphany.” It debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200, number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and number one of the Billboard Digital Albums chart. Her third studio album, “Let Freedom Reign,” was released in 2010. It reached number seven on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and number 25 on the Billboard Top 200. Her fourth album, “Better,” was released in June 2013 and reached number twelve on the Billboard Top 200. It was nominated for Best R&B Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards. She also toured with Mary J. Blige and Jaheim in 2013. Her first EP, “The Lyricist’s Opus,” was released in November 2014.

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