Jump to content

Naturi Naughton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Naturi Naughton - Lewis
Naughton at a performance of The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker in December 2010
Naughton at a performance of The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker in December 2010
Background information
Birth nameNaturi Cora Maria Naughton
Born (1984-05-20) May 20, 1984 (age 40)
East Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Years active1999–2002 (3LW)
2005–present (solo)
LabelsEpic Records (1999–2002)

Naturi Cora Maria Naughton-Lewis (born May 20, 1984)[1] is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Naughton is best known as one-third of the R&B group 3LW and for her acting roles in the films Fame and Notorious, playing rapper Lil' Kim in the latter film. Naughton was a series regular on the NBC series The Playboy Club as Bunny Brenda, starred in the first season of the Lifetime drama series The Client List as Kendra and starred in the Starz drama Power as Tasha St. Patrick, a role she reprised in the spin-off series Power Book II: Ghost. In 2022, she starred as Jill “Da Thrill” in the ABC series Queens.

Early life and education[edit]

Naughton was born and raised in East Orange, New Jersey,[1] the daughter of Brenda, a part-time paralegal, and Ezra Naughton, a retired accountant.[2] Her father is originally from St. Croix U.S. Virgin Islands and her mother is from Raleigh, North Carolina.[3] Her musical talent emerged at the age of five years, when she joined her church choir at New Hope Baptist Church (the same church where Whitney Houston performed in her youth) in Newark, New Jersey. She continued her musical studies at the Newark School of the Arts. She attended St. Joseph's Catholic school and Immaculate Conception High School in Montclair, New Jersey. She has sung the national anthem at various events in New Jersey and attended Seton Hall University.[4]



In 1999, at age 15, Naughton joined Adrienne Bailon and Kiely Williams to form the group 3LW. Their first single, "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)", was released in the fall of 2000. "No More" was a success and was followed by the second single, "Playas Gon' Play" in early 2001. The group's debut album, 3LW, was released on December 5, 2000. The album went platinum, selling 1.3 million copies in the U.S. In the summer of 2001, the group went on the MTV TRL tour along with Destiny's Child, Dream, Nelly, Eve, and Jessica Simpson.

3LW spent the first half of 2002 in the studio, recording an album tentatively titled Same Game, Different Rules. The album and its intended lead single "Uh Oh" were presented to the label, who felt it did not have enough urban radio appeal. The tracks from Same Game, Different Rules were leaked to the Internet in MP3 format, and Epic considered dropping the band. A fan support campaign for 3LW named 'Never Let Go of 3LW' followed, and the act was retained. Recording a new set of tracks, 3LW returned in the summer of 2002 with the P. Diddy-produced single "I Do (Wanna Get Close To You)", featuring Loon.

By August 2002, the group was set to release its newest LP, A Girl Can Mack, when Naughton announced that she was no longer a member of the group. Naughton says that the other two girls and their management had forced her out.[5] The problems reached a breaking point after a heated argument with Williams, Bailon, and their manager, which allegedly ended with Williams throwing a hot plate full of KFC food at Naughton. Epic Records then ended their relationship with both 3LW and Naughton. Despite Naughton's departure both Bailon and Williams resumed as a duo for a short amount of time and later Jessica Benson became Naughton's replacement. The group has since disbanded. In May 2017, she reunited with former groupmate Bailon on the daytime talk show The Real, who promoted the season premiere of Power.[6]

Solo work[edit]

Naughton at H-E-B Holiday Parade 2009

Naughton recorded five tracks for the Fame soundtrack which was released on August 25, 2009.[7] The following month Naughton scored her first solo chart entry ever with her cover of Fame peaking at No. 33 on the UK Singles Chart. The single also reached the Top 20 in Finland, Portugal and Norway.[8] In 2010 an extended play was released titled Fame Presents Naturi Naughton as Denise: Didn't I Tell You. The EP included tracks already heard before as well as previously unreleased tracks.[9][10]

In February 2010, when appearing on the BET talk show The Mo'Nique Show, Naughton expressed interest in recording a solo-debut album. However, Naughton has revealed she is instead focusing on her acting career but has not ruled out an album. An ensemble of demos have leaked to the internet, including a duet with Lil' Kim. However, it is unknown whether or not they will be released on her debut album. She was believed to be working with music producer Full Force at the time.


In March 2008, Naughton was cast to portray Grammy Award-winning rap artist Lil' Kim in Notorious, a biopic film about The Notorious B.I.G.[11] The film was released in January 2009 to mixed reviews[12] and went on to make over $43 million worldwide.[13] Lil' Kim has stated that she wasn't mad at Naughton who portrayed her and that she was mad at how they portrayed her.[14]

Naughton was cast as Denise, an aspiring singer, in the Lionsgate remake of the 1980 film of the same name Fame.[15] Filming took place in New York City and Los Angeles in November and December 2008. The film was released in September 2009 and opened No. 3 at the U.S. box office in its opening weekend despite negative reviews from critics.[16] The film went on to make $77 million worldwide.

In August 2010, Naughton was announced to appear in an episode of the AMC drama television series Mad Men.[17] Naughton portrays the role of Toni Charles, a Playboy Bunny mistress to the character Lane Pryce. The episode, "Hands and Knees", aired on September 26, 2010. The role marked the second time Naughton portrayed a fictional Playboy Bunny. That same month Naughton appeared in the Warner Bros. Pictures comedy film Lottery Ticket.

In March 2011, Naughton appeared in the drama television series pilot The Playboy Club which centers around the lives of the employees of the original Playboy Club operating in Chicago.[18] The series was picked up by NBC in May 2011.[19] Naughton portrayed the role of Brenda, a Playboy Bunny who dreams of being the first African-American Playboy centerfold.[20] The series premiered on September 19, 2011 and was cancelled after three episodes due to low ratings.[21] In October 2011, Naughton appeared in an episode of the sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.[22] Naughton portrays the role of a 1970s jazz club singer named Shadynasty. In December 2011, Naughton was announced to have been cast in the Lifetime drama television series The Client List opposite Jennifer Love Hewitt.[23] The series is a re-imagining of the 2010 film of the same name The Client List.[24] Naughton portrays the role of Kendra a hard-working masseuse at a parlor. The series premiered on April 8, 2012 to 2.79 million viewers[25] and mixed reviews from critics. In May 2012, Lifetime renewed the series for a 15-episode second season.[26]

2012–present: Power and Queens[edit]

In September 2012, Naughton starred in the BET original film Let The Church Say Amen which is adapted from author ReShonda Tate Billingsley's 2005 best-selling novel of the same name. The film was the directorial debut of actress Regina King.

Naughton starred in the Starz drama Power as Tasha St. Patrick, the wife of James "Ghost" St. Patrick played by Omari Hardwick, a New York nightclub owner living a double life as a drug kingpin. She won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, for the third season. She reprised her role as Tasha in the spin-off series Power Book II: Ghost, which began airing in September 2020.

On March 8, 2021, it was announced that Naughton was to join the cast of American Broadcasting Company's music series Queens, alongside Brandy and Eve.[27][28][29][30] In May 2021, it was announced the show was being picked up for a full series,[31][32][33][34] followed by the first official trailer, released on May 18, 2021.[35] On October 1, 2021, the first promo single from Queens (“Nasty Girl") was released featuring Naughton alongside the cast: Brandy, Eve and Velazquez.[36] A music video, directed by Tim Story, was released on the same day.[37] This was followed on October 18, 2021 by another rap song from the Queens soundtrack: “The Introduction”, which was co-written by Nas.[38] Queens debuted on October 19, 2021 and reviews were largely positive; Caroline Framke for Variety praised the quartet’s musical offering, calling their raps “sharp and distinct […] making clear their talent as both individuals and a swaggering collective”.[39] Angie Han for The Hollywood Reporter called the show “Impressive […] lavish […] magic”.[40]

Personal life[edit]

In March 2017, Naughton announced that she was expecting her first child. [41] She welcomed a daughter on July 19, 2017.[42] In April 2022, she married the founder of Owner's district and serial entrepreneur Two Lewis in a lavish wedding in Atlanta. She welcomed her second child, a son on May 27, 2023.


  • Fame Presents Naturi Naughton as Denise: Didn't I Tell You (2010)



Year Title Role Notes
2008 Cash Rules - Video
2009 Notorious Lil' Kim
Fame Denise Dupree
2010 Lottery Ticket Stacie
2013 Highland Park Char
Let the Church Say Amen Rachel Jackson TV movie
2018 Step Sisters Aisha
2020 Emperor Sarah Green
Really Love Sicily
2022 88 Maria Jackson
The Night Before Christmas Journee
2023 Call Her King Jaeda King


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Taina Ria Episode: "Blue Mascara"
The Jersey Herself Episode: "Speaking of Coleman"
Becoming Presents: Wannabe Herself Episode: "3LW"
2002 The Nick Cannon Show Herself Episode: "Nick Takes Over Nickelodeon"
All That Herself Episode: "3LW"
2010 Mad Men Toni Charles Episode: "Hands and Knees"
2011 The Playboy Club Bunny Brenda Main Cast
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Shadynasty Episode: "Frank's Brother"
2012 The Client List Kendra Main Cast: Season 1
2013 Let's Stay Together Sharon Episode: "Single Black Stacy"
2014 The Eric Andre Show Herself Episode: "Naturi Naughton; Ryan Phillippe"
2014–20 Power Tasha St. Patrick Main Cast
2015–19 Doc McStuffins Luna (voice) Guest Cast: Seasons 2-3 & 5
2018 Queen of the South Sasha Bishop Episode: "La Muerte"
2020–24 Power Book II: Ghost Tasha St. Patrick Main Cast: Season 1, Guest: Seasons 2-4
2021–22 Queens Jill “Da Thrill” Main Cast


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2005–08 Hairspray Little Inez Replacement


  1. ^ a b Williams, Kam (December 26, 2008). "Naturi Naughton: The Notorious Interview". KamWilliams.com. Retrieved June 30, 2009.
  2. ^ Irizarry, Lisa (June 22, 2010). "Naturi Naughton goes from 'Notorious' to 'Lottery Ticket' but still keeps East Orange roots". NJ.com. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  3. ^ Clarke, Tangerine (June 23, 2021). "Mayor deBlasio honors actress Naturi Naughton with Proclamation Day - Caribbean Life". www.caribbeanlife.com. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  4. ^ [1] Archived August 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Joe D'Angelo (October 11, 2002). "Ex-3LW Member Says Group Wanted To Pimp Her Out – Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  6. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (August 28, 2002). "3LW Members Say They Didn't Ask Naturi To Leave". MTV. Viacom International, Inc. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  7. ^ Jeff Bayer (August 25, 2009). "Fame – Complete Soundtrack Track Listing – The Scorecard Review". Thescorecardreview.com.
  8. ^ 1 hr ago (April 20, 2011). "Yahoo! UK & Ireland omg! – Celebrity Gossip | Videos". Uk.launch.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 27, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Fame Presents: Naturi Naughton As Denise: Various Artists: Music". Amazon. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  10. ^ "Fame presents Naturi Naughton as Denise: Didn't I Tell You: Naturi Naughton: MP3 Downloads". Amazon. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  11. ^ Thoo, James (March 6, 2008). "Gravy for Biggie – Movie News". JoBlo.com.
  12. ^ "Notorious". Rotten Tomatoes.
  13. ^ "Notorious (2009) (2009)". Box Office Mojo. April 2, 2009.
  14. ^ "10 People Who Hated Their Own Biopics". March 18, 2016.
  15. ^ "Curious What's Up With the Remake of FAME?". Collider.com. August 18, 2023.
  16. ^ "Flores, Iacono, McGill, Naughton, Perez and More Cast in "Fame" Remake". Playbill. Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  17. ^ "Naturi Naughton Joins Mad Men Cast". Global Grind. August 17, 2010.
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 11, 2011). "Eddie Cibrian To Play The Lead In 'Playboy'". Deadline. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 6, 2011). "NBC Picks Up 1960s Playboy Drama To Pilot". Deadline. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  20. ^ Williams, Brennan (September 13, 2011). "Naturi Naughton Talks: 'The Playboy Club,' 'X-Men' Role, Return To Music Industry, And More". HuffPost. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  21. ^ Hibberd, James (October 4, 2011). "NBC cancels controversial Playboy Club". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on October 5, 2011. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  22. ^ Goldman, Eric (October 14, 2011). "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: "Frank's Brother" Review". IGN. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  23. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 19, 2011). "Naturi Naughton Joins Lifetime's 'Client List'". Deadline Hollywood.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 10, 2011). "Lifetime Greenlights 'The Client List' Series Starring & Produced By Jennifer Love Hewitt". Deadline Hollywood.
  25. ^ "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Game of Thrones' Leads + Atlanta 'Housewives,' 'Mad Men,' 'Khloe & Lamar,' 'Army Wives,' 'The Client List' & Much More – Ratings". TVbytheNumbers. April 12, 2012. Archived from the original on April 13, 2012.
  26. ^ "Lifetime Renews The Client List – Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. May 7, 2012.
  27. ^ Otterson, Joe (March 8, 2021). "Brandy Joins ABC Music Drama Pilot 'Queens'". Variety. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  28. ^ Haylock, Zoe (March 8, 2021). "Brandy to Return to TV in ABC Hip-Hop Drama Queens". Vulture. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  29. ^ Cuby, Michael (March 9, 2021). "Brandy Will Star in a New ABC Drama About a Reunited Hip-Hop Group". Nylon. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  30. ^ "Brandy, Naturi Naughton, Eve, & More Continue Shooting New ABC Music Series 'Queens'". thatgrapejuice.net. April 16, 2021. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  31. ^ "'The Wonder Years', 'Queens', 'Maggie' & 'Abbott Elementary' Picked Up To Series At ABC". Deadline Hollywood. May 14, 2021. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  32. ^ "ABC Announces Full Season Order Of 'Queens' Starring Brandy, Eve, & Naturi Naughton". thatgrapejuice. May 14, 2021. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  33. ^ "Queens is a new drama coming to ABC. #QueensABC @TheRealEve @4everBrandy @naturinaughton @nadinevelazquez". Twitter. May 14, 2021. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  34. ^ Nemetz, Dave (May 14, 2021). "ABC Orders The Wonder Years Reboot, Hip-Hop Drama Queens, More to Series". TVLine. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  35. ^ "Bow Down Fire Police cars revolving light #QueensABC this fall. Tuesdays. 10PM. @abc_queens". Twitter. May 18, 2021. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  36. ^ "Nasty Girl (single)". Apple Music. October 1, 2021. Retrieved October 4, 2021.
  37. ^ Abraham, Mya (October 1, 2021). "Brandy, Eve, Naturi Naughton, And Nadine Velazquez Drop "Nasty Girl" Single, Ahead Of 'Queens' Premiere". Vibe. Retrieved October 4, 2021.
  38. ^ "Queens Cast The Introduction". Apple Music. October 18, 2021. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  39. ^ Framke, Caroline (October 18, 2021). "ABC's 'Queens' Lets Brandy, Eve, Crafty Melodrama Shine: TV Review". Variety. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  40. ^ Han, Angie (October 18, 2021). "Queens Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  41. ^ Booth, Alli (March 22, 2017). "Naturi Naughton Is Pregnant With Her First Child". Us Weekly. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  42. ^ Bautch, Hillary (July 20, 2017). "'Power' Star Naturi Naughton Welcomes Baby Girl". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved February 25, 2020.

External links[edit]