Lil' Mama at the Black Girls Rock! Tour NYC 2011
|Birth name||Niatia Jessica Kirkland|
October 4, 1989 |
Harlem, New York City, New York, U.S.
|Origin||Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Occupations||Rapper, singer-songwriter, dancer, actress, entrepreneur, spokesperson|
Niatia Jessica Kirkland (born October 4, 1989), better known by her stage name Lil Mama, is an American hip hop recording artist from Brooklyn, New York City, New York. A rapper, singer-songwriter, entrepreneur, spokesperson, dancer and actress, Lil Mama was also a talent show judge for seven seasons on America's Best Dance Crew. She experienced Billboard placement with the release of her debut album, VYP (Voice of the Young People), which spawned the hit single "Lip Gloss". She was also cast for the role of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, in the VH1 biographical film CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, which aired in October 2013.
Life and career
1989-2005: Early life
Lil Mama was born Niatia Jessica Kirkland in Harlem, in 1989. She was raised in Brooklyn, New York where she attended Edward R. Murrow High School. Kirkland is the third child and eldest daughter of eight kids. Being the eldest daughter of eight, she acquired her nickname "lil mama". Kirkland faced personal and financial struggles at an early age. As one of eight brothers and sisters, she started to express herself artistically through poetry and dance. Her mother Tara, died on December 15, 2007 following a four-year battle with colon cancer.
2006-08: Career beginnings and VYP (Voice of the Young People)
In 2006, Kirkland signed a recording contract with Jive Records. Her first studio album VYP (Voice of the Young People) was released in late April 2008. The album spawned four singles: "Lip Gloss", "G-Slide (Tour Bus)", "Shawty Get Loose" and "What It Is (Strike a Pose)". The album sold 19,000 copies in the first week, debuting at number 25 on the Billboard 200. Lil Mama served as a judge on the competitive dance contest television series America's Best Dance Crew. She joined the judges's circle in 2008 at the age of nineteen.
Since the release of her first album, Lil Mama has been in the studio working on new music. She released the singles "Dough Boy" featuring Mishon, "On & On & On", and "NYNYLALA" featuring Snoop Dogg, all of which failed to chart. She has since released two singles entitled "Scrawberry" and "Hustler Girl" featuring Clyde McKnight. In 2009 she announced the title of her proposed new album as "Voice Of The Young People: I Am That", although this has not been released.
On October 7, 2012 RCA Music Group announced it was disbanding J Records along with Arista Records and Jive Records. With the shutdown, Lil Mama (and all other artists previously signed to these three labels) will release her future material on the RCA Records brand. "Voice Of The Young People: I Am That" will have guest appearances including Soulja Boy, Khalil, Vanessa Hudgens, LoLa Monroe, Teyana Taylor, Trina, OMG Girlz, Nas, Chris Brown among others.
At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, Lil Mama came onstage while Jay-Z and Alicia Keys performed "Empire State of Mind". While Jay-Z was ending his final verse, Lil Mama left her seat in the audience, got onto the stage, and started bobbing her head to the beat. Jay-Z was surprised but continued to perform. Right before this moment, Beyonce had even tried to hold her from going up. Jay-Z patted Lil Mama on the leg to fall back, jokingly telling her, "you T-Paining right now," a reference to a similar incident two months earlier when T-Pain jumped onstage with Jay-Z at Summer Jam during his performance of "D.O.A.". At the end of the performance, Lil Mama came to foreground and posed alongside Jay-Z and Keys. She later clarified that she "would never ... try to disrespect Jay-Z or take a moment that someone has created it and try to relive it. I’m too original for that and I respect him too much for that."
Lil Mama starred as Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes in the VH1 TLC biographical film CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, which aired on October 21, 2013, alongside Keke Palmer and Drew Sidora, who played Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, respectively.
|Year||Song||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2007||"Lip Gloss"||10||36||—||—||—||121 ||VYP (Voice of the Young People)|
|"G-Slide (Tour Bus)"||124||—||—||—||8||—|
|2008||"Shawty Get Loose"
(featuring Chris Brown and T-Pain)
|"What It Is (Strike a Pose)"
(featuring Shawn Marvel, Mitch and A Dot)
As featured artist
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|"Girlfriend (Dr. Luke Remix)"
(Avril Lavigne featuring Lil Mama)
|2007||—||—||The Best Damn Thing|
(Yahaira featuring Lil Mama)
(Prince Malik featuring Jim Jones and Lil Mama)
|"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.|
|"Block Party"||2009||Lisa Lopes, Clyde McKnight||Eye Legacy|
|"Video Chat"||2010||College Boyys||Spring Break|
|"Big Boy Rims"|
|2013||CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story||Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes||VH1 Biopic|
Awards and nominations
- BET Awards
- 2008, Best female Hip-Hop Artist (Nominated)
- 2009, Best female Hip-Hop Artist (Nominated)
- MTV Video Music Awards
- Teen Choice Awards
- 2007, Choice Rap Artist (Nominated)
- 2007, Choice Summer Song: "Lip Gloss" (Winner)
- 2008, Choice Music Hookup: "Shawty Get Loose" (Nominated)
- 2008, Choice Rap/Hip-Hop Track: "Shawty Get Loose" (Winner)
- 2008, Choice TV Personality: Randy Jackson's America's Best Dance Crew (Nominated)
- MTV Asia Awards
- 2008, Best Hook-up: "Girlfriend" - featured by Avril Lavigne (Nominated)
- http://www.oprah.com/oprahradio/Rapper-Lil-Mama-Audio Dr.Oz Interviews Lil Mama
- "Lil’ Mama Reveals New Album Title". Rap-Up.com. 2009-07-20. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "RCA's New Executive Team Named Under CEO Peter Edge Amid Layoffs (Update)". Billboard.biz. 2011-08-23. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". FMQB. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- Bennett, Deborah (23 September 2009). "Jay-Z Compares Lil Mama To Kanye". HelloBeautiful.com. Radio One. Retrieved 29 Oct 2012.
- "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story Cast Member Page - Niati 'Lil Mama' Kirkland", VH1, October 1, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- "TLC MOVIE (BAND, NOT CHANNEL) CASTS LIL MAMA, KEKE PALMER, AND A THIRD HUMAN", HollyWood.com, February 9, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- "Music News, Reviews, Articles, Information, News Online & Free Music". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "Top Hip-Hop and R&B Songs & Singles Charts". Billboard.com. 2007-06-30. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
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