September 21, 1974 |
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Hicks began her film career with a role alongside Robert De Niro in the 1993 film, A Bronx Tale. Her subsequent film roles were small: 1995's Just Cause with Sean Connery and Laurence Fishburne, and 1996's Educating Matt Waters and The Preacher's Wife with Whitney Houston. It was not until 1997 in the HBO original film, Subway Stories, that audiences began to take notice. As the "Woman with Flowers" who sang to her mother on the payphone, her performance was widely deemed to be one of the best in the film.
In 1997, Hicks signed a deal with Motown Records and released an album titled This Time. The single "Ooh, Ooh Baby", written by and featuring Missy Elliott, charted on the Billboard R&B singles chart. However, the lead single intended to debut her singing career was "Distant Lover", an uptempo track produced by Teddy Riley. The album did not take off until the second single, "Silly", a remake of the classic R&B hit by Deniece Williams, was released. Featuring a black-and-white video directed by Hype Williams, the single charted well on the R&B chart. After collaborating on the video for "Silly", Hype Williams cast Hicks as in his directorial film debut (and in her largest role to date), 1998's Belly, as Kisha, DMX's girlfriend. The video for "Silly" appeared in one of the film's scenes.
Following the film's release in 1998, Hicks was absent from film and music until 2000, when she appeared on screen in the short film, Are You Cinderella?, with actor Wood Harris. Two television guest roles followed: 2002's 100 Centre Street in the episode titled "Fathers", and a 2003 episode of Soul Food: The Series titled "The New Math".
Her later film roles were in independent films such as 2005's The Salon, with Vivica A. Fox, Dondre Whitfield, and Darrin Henson; 2006's Forbidden Fruits with Ella Joyce, Fredro Starr, and R&B singer Keith Sweat; 2007's Humenetomy; and 2010's Ex$pendable.
She currently has in production the film, Disciple, a psychological thriller about a serial killer terrorizing a small town. She plays an attorney who gets involved in the sick twist of the town's brutal crimes. The film stars Persia White and Tanya Thompson and is directed by The Clark Brothers.
Additionally, she co-starred in the musical stage play Tyler Perry's Aunt Bam's Place with Paris Bennett, Cassi Davis, Jeffrey Lewis, and Melonie Daniels. It had a 3-day run beginning August 30, 2011 in Atlanta, GA (Cobb Energy Center) and was filmed for a DVD release on June 12, 2012.
She is currently married to Loren Dawson, with whom she had two sons, and lives in North Jersey, where she is working as a teacher.
|Billboard Hot 200||Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums|
|Billboard Hot 100||Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks|
|1996||"Ooh, Ooh Baby" (featuring Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott)||-||81|
|"How Can I Get Over You"||-||-|
- 1996: The Associate (on "Yes We Can Can" with Chantay Savage, LaShanda Reese and The Pointer Sisters)
- Beckerman, Jim. Her older sister, D'Atra Hicks, has appeared in several Tyler Perry productions. "WHERE STARS ARE BORN", The Record (Bergen County), August 19, 2000. Accessed July 3, 2007. "When Shanell Jones graduated from Teaneck High School in June, she already had a deal with Def Jam, a major recording label. But as former Motown Records artist Taral Hicks (Grace Dodge, Class of 1993) and Alligator recording artist Shemekia Copeland (Teaneck, Class of 1997) could tell her, that's no big deal in this neck of the woods."
- Taral Hicks: From The Belly of the Beast By DeVaughn Douglas Tuesday, September 01, 2009 2:35 PM - All Hip Hop.com
- Billboard Music Charts - Latest Music News - Music Videos