Heather Headley

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Heather Headley
Born (1974-10-05) October 5, 1974 (age 39)
Barataria, Trinidad and Tobago
Genres R&B, soul, inspirational, gospel
Occupations Singer, songwriter, record producer, actress
Years active 1997–present
Labels RCA, EMI Gospel
Website www.heatherheadley.com

Heather Headley (born October 5, 1974) is a Trinidadian-American R&B and soul singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She has won a Tony Award, a Grammy Award, and a Drama Desk Award, and she has been nominated for a host of other acting and music accolades.

Personal life[edit]

Headley was born in Trinidad, the daughter of Hannah and Eric Headley.[1] At age four, Headley began playing the music of her native Trinidad, including calypso, and soca.[citation needed] In 1989, she moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana in the United States at the age of fifteen with her mother and brother Iric Junior when her father was offered a job as pastor of McKee Street Church of God with headquarters in Anderson, Indiana.

Headley attended Northrop High School, and was a member of their resident show choir, Charisma, and starred as Fanny Brice in the school's production of Funny Girl. After graduating from Northrop High School, Headley attended Northwestern University to study communications and musical theatre until the last day of her junior year, when she made the decision to become a part of the musical Ragtime and drop out of school.

In 2003, Headley married Brian Musso, formerly of the New York Jets. Both attended Northwestern University.[2] On December 1, 2009, they welcomed their first child John David. On March 26, 2014, Headley announced that she and Musso are expecting another child.[3]

Career[edit]

In 1997, she originated the role of Nala in The Lion King, the Broadway musical. Headley's performance was well received, and she then originated the title role in the Broadway adaptation of Aida, earning the Tony Award for Best Actress in 2000. In 1999, she appeared in the Encores! production of Do Re Mi, with Nathan Lane, Randy Graff, and Brian Stokes Mitchell. She also starred in a concert version of the musical Dreamgirls alongside Audra McDonald and Lillias White.

In the autumn of 2006, Heather performed Hal David and Burt Bacharach's song "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", from the 1968 musical Promises, Promises for "The Kennedy Center Presents: The 2006 Mark Twain Prize", honoring playwright Neil Simon. The ceremony was later broadcast on PBS.

On July 5, 2007 Headley made a guest appearance for Andrea Bocelli's Vivere Live in Tuscany concert in Lajatico, Italy. They performed Vivo Per Lei and The Prayer. Headley sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" (also known as "America") with Josh Groban on January 18, 2009 during the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.[4] On March 12, 2009, Headley sang, "I Wish" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

From November 2012 until August 2013, Headley played the role of Rachel Marron, in the musical adaptation of Whitney Houston's 1992 movie, The Bodyguard at London's Adelphi Theatre. She was nominated for an Olivier Award and a What's On Stage Award for this performance.[5][6]

Heather joined the Andrea Bocelli UK Tour playing Glasgow Hydro on November 23 and at the Leeds First Direct Arena on November 24, 2013

Headley is expecting to reprise her performance of Rachel Marron in the upcoming Broadway production of "The Bodyguard" set to open somewhere in the 2014-2015 season.

Music[edit]

Headley released her debut album, This Is Who I Am, in October 2002 with RCA Records. Although its first single, "He Is", was not very successful, the second single, "I Wish I Wasn't", achieved moderate success. The work on this album earned her a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and for Best New Artist.

Her second album, In My Mind, was delayed due to the various executive shake-ups associated with RCA parent BMG's merger with Sony.

Under BMG North America chairman/CEO Clive Davis for the first time, Headley released her second album In My Mind in January 2006. The title track "In My Mind" (written and produced by India.Arie collaborator Shannon Sanders) was released as the first single; and its music video was directed by Diane Martel. The song reached number-one on the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The second single "Me Time" was sent to Urban AC radio only. An album track, "Am I Worth It", served to promote Headley's New March of Dimes Educational Campaign "I Want My 9 Months".

In 2009, Headley, along with Al Green, released a version of the song "People Get Ready" on the compilation album Oh Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration.[7]

On the January 31, 2010, Heather won her first Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album for Audience of One on the EMI Gospel label.

In December 2010, Headley performed a duet version of "Blue Christmas" and "My Prayer" with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli on Bocelli's "My Christmas" tour in six cities. At the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on December 4, 2010, the audience insisted on a second encore with Bocelli. Bocelli had to summon the detail to go back and get her to come back on stage.[citation needed]

Heather Headley released her 2012 album Only One in the World on September 25, 2012 with the lead single "A Little While".

In September 2013, Headley appeared on America's Got Talent with Il Divo and sang "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" from The Lion King Musical. She also appeared with Il Divo on Broadway for a limited concert run.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
US US R&B
This Is Who I Am 38 14
In My Mind
  • Release date: January 31, 2006
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
5 1
  • RIAA: Gold
Audience of One 27 6
Only One in the World
  • Release date: September 25, 2012
  • Label: in:ciite Media
  • Formats: CD, music download
187 25
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released to that country

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Details
Playlist: The Very Best of Heather Headley

Singles[edit]

Year Song Peak chart positions Album
US Hot 100 US R&B US Dance US AC US Gospel Hot Adult R&B Hot R&B Recurrents
1999 "A Step Too Far" (with Elton John and Sherie Rene Scott) 15 Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida
2002 "He Is" 90 38 4 2 This Is Who I Am
2003 "I Wish I Wasn't" 55 15 5 5
2005 "In My Mind" 75 16 1 2 4 In My Mind
2006 "Me Time" 35 5 4
2008 "Jesus Is Love" 59 10 29 Audience of One
"Do You Hear What I Hear?" Non-album single
2012 "A Little While" Only One in the World
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other[edit]

Song Year Album
"Can You Feel the Love Tonight" 1997 The Lion King on Broadway Cast Recording
"Shadowland"
"The Madness of King Scar"
"Love Will Find a Way" 1998 Return to Pride Rock
"Just One Dream" 2001 Golden Dreams (film at Disney California Adventure Park)
"People Get Ready" (with Al Green) 2009 Oh Happy Day

Awards[edit]

Acting[edit]

Year Award Role Result
2000 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical Aida Won
2000 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical Aida Won
2000 Sarah Siddons Award Work in Chicago theatre Won
2013 Whatsonstage.com Awards Best Actress The Bodyguard (musical) Nominated
2013 Olivier Awards Best Actress The Bodyguard (musical) Nominated

Music[edit]

Year Award Recording Result
2002 Soul Train Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist "He Is" Nominated
2003 Billboard Music Award for R&B/Hip-Hop New Artist of the Year N/A Nominated
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding New Artist N/A Nominated
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Female Artist N/A Nominated
Soul Train Lady of Soul Award for R&B/Soul Album of the Year - Solo "This Is Who I Am" Won
Soul Train Lady of Soul Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist - Solo "He Is" Won
Soul Train Lady of Soul Award for Best R&B/Soul Single - Solo "He Is" Nominated
2004 Grammy Award for Best New Artist "N/A" Nominated
Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance "I Wish I Wasn't" Nominated
2006 BET J/Centric for Cool Like That Award N/A Nominated
2010 Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance "Jesus Is Love" Nominated
Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album "Audience Of One" Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Heather Headley Biography" FilmReference.com, accessed August 28, 2011
  2. ^ "In Step With Heather Headley"Parade, accessed August 28, 2011
  3. ^ https://twitter.com/heatherheadley/status/448869858562678787
  4. ^ Gans, Andrew." 'Obama Inauguration Celebration', with Beyonce, Headley, Usher, Latifah, Broadcast Jan. 18", Playbill.com, January 18, 2009
  5. ^ "Bodyguard musical star Heather Headley wants to make Whitney role her own". BBC. May 2, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Heather Headley "I Always Love You". Retrieved November 24, 2012. 
  7. ^ Price, Deborah Evans (March 27, 2009). "Jon Bon Jovi, Queen Latifah go gospel for "Day"". Reuters. 

External links[edit]