|Born||Shanice Lorraine Wilson
May 14, 1973
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Imajah / PlayTyme (2005–present)
Shanice Lorraine Wilson-Knox (born May 14, 1973), better known as Shanice, is a Grammy-nominated American R&B/pop-rock singer, songwriter, and actress. She scored the Top 10 Billboard hit singles "I Love Your Smile" and "Silent Prayer" in 1991 and "Saving Forever for You" in 1993. In 1999, Shanice scored another hit song, "When I Close My Eyes," which peaked at number #11 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. She is widely recognized for her coloratura soprano voice and her ability to sing in the whistle register.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Wilson relocated to Los Angeles with her mother and aunt (Krystal and Penny) who were themselves interested in pursuing careers in the music industry. They soon abandoned their aspirations of stardom, instead focusing their efforts on young Shanice; forming the management company Krystal Penny to cultivate and promote her talents. At age 9, Shanice appeared in a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial with the legendary jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald. In 1984, she appeared as a regular in/on season 1, episodes 1-14 of the children's program Kids Incorporated and was recently departed and replaced by Carletta Prince in season 1, episode 15 of this show. At age 11, Shanice competed on Star Search. Shortly after her appearance on Star Search, she was signed to A&M Records.
In 1987, at 14, A&M Records released her debut album, Discovery. It produced two top-ten R&B hits, "(Baby Tell Me) Can You Dance" and "No ½ Steppin'". Wilson went on to sign a deal with Motown Records in the summer of 1990, releasing Inner Child in late 1991, which included her best-known hit single "I Love Your Smile". It reached the top ten in 22 countries, including the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album also featured a cover of Minnie Riperton's 1974 hit "Lovin' You", a rendition that brought attention to her five-octave vocal range.
After Inner Child, Wilson continued to record albums, including 1994's 21… Ways to Grow with producer Rhett Lawrence a L.A session musician and Earth Wind & Fire guitarist Dick Smith. This effort was followed by a move to LaFace Records, who released the 1999 album Shanice. While she has not achieved significant commercial success with subsequent albums, she has contributed various tracks for films, such as Boomerang ("Don't Wanna Love You") and The Meteor Man ("It's for You"). Wilson also achieved success with her top-ten hit "Saving Forever for You", from the Beverly Hills 90210 soundtrack. She also recorded "If I Never Knew You", a duet with Jon Secada, for the original soundtrack of Disney's 1995 film Pocahontas.
Shanice performs occasional backing vocals for other artists, and can, for example, be heard on Toni Braxton's "Come on Over Here" and "Un-Break My Heart", as well as Usher's "Bedtime". In 2010 she performed vocals on the track "Behind the Mask", from Michael Jackson's posthumous album Michael.
In addition to singing, Wilson is also an actress, appearing in 1997 on the Broadway stage as the first black performer to star in the role of Eponine in the musical Les Misérables. In 2001 Shanice also starred in the made-for-TV movie One Special Moment, an adaptation of Brenda Jackson's 1998 novel of the same name.
In 2011, Shanice teamed with Niecy Nash and Franchie Davis for the 21st Annual "Diva's Simply Singing" HIV/AIDS charity event.
More recently, she recorded the song "A Midnight Rendezvous" for the 2012 Kinect rhythm game Rhythm Party. She also performed the English theme song for the video game The Bouncer, called "Love Is the Gift".
On Valentine's Day 2000, Wilson married actor/comedian Flex Alexander. Together, they have two children, daughter Imani Shekinah Knox (born August 23, 2001) and son Elijah Alexander Knox (born March 5, 2004).