Dawn Robinson

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Dawn Robinson
Birth name Dawn Sherrese Robinson
Born (1965-11-24) November 24, 1965 (age 50)
New London, Connecticut, U.S.
  • Singer-songwriter
  • actress
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1989–present
Associated acts

Dawn Sherrese Robinson (born November 24, 1965[1][2]) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Robinson rose to fame in the early 1990s as a member of the quartet En Vogue, one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time.[3] Robinson was then asked to join Lucy Pearl and released their self-titled debut album in 2000, which went platinum worldwide and produced the top charting singles "Dance Tonight" and "Don't Mess with My Man".

In 2002, Robinson released her first solo album Dawn, which produced the single "Envious". In 2005, Robinson rejoined En Vogue for a tour, but departed from the group before they could record another album. In 2009, Robinson briefly returned to En Vogue again for their 20th Anniversary Tour. In 2010, she left En Vogue for the final time due to poor management and compensation of work. In 2013, she joined the cast of R&B Divas: Los Angeles for the first season of the series.

Throughout a career spanning 25 years, Robinson has sold over 40 million records with En Vogue. Lucy Pearl, The Firm and as a solo artist. Her work has earned her several awards and nominations, including five American Music Awards, six Billboard Music Awards, seven MTV Video Music Awards, six Soul Train Music Awards and ten Grammy nominations.

Early life[edit]

Robinson was born in New London, Connecticut where she attended New London High School. Her mother had her in the church singing in the choir at AME Zion Church. From there Dawn was in the studio traveling from New London to Massachusetts, putting her beautiful voice on tape. At a Stephanie Mills concert her mother was able to get the band to listen to a tape of Dawns. They advised Dawns mother to send her to California. In 1980 Dawn was sent to live with her cousin to see if California was a good fit for the family. A year later Dawns mother, sister, cousin and herself packed up and drove cross country to Oakland, California. Dawn first attended Oakland High School, the family finally settled in San Leandro California where Dawn attended San Leandro High School.


1989–97: En Vogue, The Firm[edit]

Main article: En Vogue

In July 1989, Robinson auditioned for a female group. Robinson was one of four women selected to become part of the group which became En Vogue. The four began recording their debut album in August 1989 and finished in December of the same year.[4] In 1990, En Vogue released their first single "Hold On", which became a number-one single. Later that year, the group released their debut album Born to Sing, which went multi-platinum. The group released their next multi-platinum album Funky Divas in 1992. Robinson sang lead vocals on the album's top-charting singles which included "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)", "Giving Him Something He Can Feel", and "Free Your Mind", which remains one of their signature songs. "Free Your Mind" won two MTV Video Music Awards, for "Best R&B Video" and "Best Dance Video".

En Vogue released an EP in the fall of 1993, entitled Runaway Love. The extended play featured Robinson's lead vocals on the number-one hit "Whatta Man", which featured Salt-n-Pepa. The song also appeared on Salt-N-Pepa's Very Necessary album.

In 1996, En Vogue recorded "Don't Let Go (Love)" with Robinson singing lead vocals. The song featured on the soundtrack to the motion picture Set It Off. Released in the autumn, it became the group's biggest hit to date going number one worldwide. It also sold millions of copies and became certified milti-platinum by the RIAA.[citation needed] Inadvertently, it would also be the final En Vogue single to feature Robinson. One of Robinson's final performances with the group came in October of that year, when the group sang the final national anthem rendition in the history of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, which came in game five of the 1996 World Series. In response to the large commercial success of "Don't Let Go (Love)", the group steadfastly went to work on its third album. As the album was nearing completion, Robinson chose to leave the group in April 1997 after difficult contractual negotiations reached a stalemate.[citation needed] Despite Robinson's abrupt departure, En Vogue resolved to continue as a trio. Later that year, Robinson joined the The Firm (hip hop super group) for their hit song "Firm Biz" which sampled Teena Marie's single "Square Biz".

1999–2000: Lucy Pearl[edit]

Main article: Lucy Pearl

Following her departure from En Vogue, Robinson joined Lucy Pearl in 1999. The group released their self-titled debut album in May 2000 on EMI Records, which sold over a million copies worldwide.[5][6] The album's lead single "Dance Tonight" charted at number five on the R&B singles chart. Following the released of the album, Lucy Pearl toured in the United States and made several appearances on many television shows including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Chris Rock Show.[7]

In October 2000, Lucy Pearl released the second single "Don't Mess with My Man", which became the group's most successful single in the UK, peaking at number twenty in the UK Singles Chart. It also garnered success in France where it peaked at number fourteen. In the United States, the song was just as successful as their debut single "Dance Tonight", peaking at number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. Shortly after they released their second single, Robinson left the group due to the lack of fair compensation within the group. After unsuccessfully trying to negotiate a fair agreement with her bandmate Raphael Saadiq, Robinson quit the group and was replaced by Joi. However, Lucy Pearl disbanded in 2001 without releasing a second album.

2001–06: Dawn and return to En Vogue[edit]

In 2001, Robinson had signed with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records. After appearing on a few soundtracks, Robinson released a solo album entitled Dawn, released by Atlantic Records in January 2002, the album peaked at number 56 on the US Billboard 200. The single "Envious" received moderate airplay on radio and video outlets but still reached number 39 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Robinson also went on several national television shows promoting the single.

In 2005, after an eight-year absence, Robinson rejoined En Vogue. With Robinson part of En Vogue (completing the original line-up), they went on to sign with one of the industry's largest management firms, The Firm Management Group. In September 2005, they joined Salt N Pepa for the girl groups' first-ever joint public performance of their 1994 hit, "Whatta Man" at VH-1's Hip Hop Honors. They also earned another Grammy nomination for the single "So What the Fuss", which featured Stevie Wonder and Prince (on guitar). The group also appeared in the single's music video. After failing to agree on business terms, Robinson once again chose to defect from En Vogue and was replaced by Rhona Bennett. As a result, En Vogue was let go from The Firm.

2008–11: Solo career and final return to En Vogue[edit]

Robinson (on the left) performing with En Vogue during their reunion tour (2009)

In 2008, Robinson started touring and performing private events, performing songs she recorded with En Vogue and Lucy Pearl. Later that year, Robinson reunited with En Vogue and performed at the 2008 BET Awards along with Alicia Keys, SWV, and TLC. In 2009, Robinson joined En Vogue for their "20th Anniversary Tour".

In 2010, all four members appeared on the cover of Jet magazine to promote their reunion tour, but yet again failed to reach an agreement, and Robinson decided not to record on the new En Vogue album due in the fall of 2011 following their successful tour. On September 26, 2011, Ellis, Jones & Herron without Robinson, debuted their new single "I'll Cry Later" from their forthcoming album that was planned for a December release. Negotiations for the album release resulted in Robinson leaving En Vogue which was discussed with Jones on Access Hollywood nearly a year later on October 17, 2012.[8] Robinson and Jones talked about the contract issues and poor management of En Vogue. Robinson also stated "you just never know" in relation to rejoining En Vogue again.

2012: Heirs To The Throne[edit]

In October 2012, Dawn and Maxine Jones appeared on Access Hollywood to announce they are forming a new girl group called Heirs to the Throne. The duo launched their website, Twitter, and Facebook for the new group. They also performed at several venues. The following year, Robinson and Jones parted ways and Jones went on to form her own group called "En Vogue to the Max". It was later announced that the former group mates Cindy Herron and Terry Ellis sued Maxine Jones for use of the En Vogue name and demanding one million dollars for damages. However, Ellis and Herron could not demonstrate harm done to the company from Jones' use of the name. Robinson participated as a witness in the trial but ultimately stated that she was not directly involved in the dispute, as she had surrendered her rights to use the name herself when she departed from the LLC years earlier.

2013–present: R&B Divas and solo career[edit]

In 2013, Robinson joined the cast of R&B Divas: Los Angeles. The series premiered on TV One on July 10, 2013.[9] The series chronicles the lives of R&B singers Robinson, Lil Mo, Chanté Moore, Kelly Price, Claudette Ortiz, and Michel'le as they balance their music careers and personal lives.[10] It is a spinoff to R&B Divas: Atlanta. Throughout the series, Robinson introduced us to her celebrity boyfriend Christopher Nils Connolly. The reunion, which Robinson did not participate in, was filmed on August 6, 2013, with Wendy Williams as the host.[11] Robinson turned down her option and will not be appearing in the second season of the show. Bravo have apparently shown interest in Robinson and Connolly doing their own reality show. Robinson was to begin touring with selected cast members from both R&B Divas LA and Atlanta within the United States.

In November 2014, on TMZ Live Robinson threatened to sue Lifetime if they did not change their marketing which falsely claimed the four original members were involved in An En Vogue Christmas, a movie only consisting of two original En Vogue members: Cindy Herron, Terry Ellis; and Rhona Bennett.

Personal life[edit]

As of 2012, Robinson has been in a personal relationship with former international soccer player, fashion icon and BMG recording artist Christopher Nils Connolly. Robinson stated on her reality show R&B Divas LA that she was looking forward to starting a family with Connolly.




Year Title Role Notes
1990 Another 48 Hrs. Restroom Girl Cameo appearance
1995 Tank Girl Model Cameo appearance
Batman Forever Girl on the corner / prostitute Cameo appearance
1997 Conceiving Ada Club Patron Cameo appearance
1998 The Rugrats Movie Newborn baby Voice-over
1999 Life Club Crooner Cameo appearance
2000 Shaft Lenox Lounge Patron Cameo appearance
2006 The Last Request Amber Supporting role
2010 Queen of Media Wok Pd Supporting role

TV appearances[edit]

Year Title Role Episode
1993 In Living Color Herself; cameo with En Vogue "Stacy Koon's Police Academy"
A Different World Henrietta; with En Vogue "Mind Your Own Business"
Roc Natalie "Joey in Love"
"To Love and Die on Emerson Street: Part 1"
"To Love and Die on Emerson Street: Part 2"
1995 SeaQuest DSV Sarah Toenin "Watergate"


  1. ^ http://www.faqs.org/copyright/dont-think-i-can-make-it-by-denzil-foster-thomas-mcelroy-2/
  2. ^ http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/singers/dawn-robinson-net-worth/
  3. ^ Business Wire (2009-02-12). "Grammy® Nominated R&B Group En Vogue Closes Out Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit". Business Wire (Orlando, Florida, United States). Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  4. ^ "Don't think I can make it. By Denzil Foster, Thomas McElroy, Will Townsend, Pharoah Davis, Warren Robinson & Andre Zachary part 2 - song, music - Copyright Info". Faqs.org. Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
  5. ^ "Lucy Pearl: Lucy Pearl: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  6. ^ "Lucy Pearl: LUCY PEARL: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  7. ^ Lucy Pearl "Don't Mess with My Man" Live (Video). YouTube. Retrieved on March 20, 2014
  8. ^ Maxine Jones & Dawn Robinson discuss groups fallout. (Video). YouTube. Retrieved in March 20, 2014.
  9. ^ "TV One Announces Network's First-Ever VOD Premiere - "R&B Divas LA" World Premiere Set for Sunday, July 7 on VOD". The Futon Critic. June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2013. 
  10. ^ "TV One Renews Hit Series "R&B Divas" and Announces New Los Angeles Franchise". The Futon Critic. January 22, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Wendy Williams Tapped to Host Reunion Special for TV One's "R&B Divas LA"". The Futon Critic. August 5, 2013. 

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