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Music R&B singer and songwriter Syleena Johnson pictures (pic) and photo gallery, albums covers pictures.
Born: September 2, 1976 in Harvey, Illinois, USA.
She is a daughter of 1960s R&B singer Syl Johnson, part of the famed Hi Records roster, and Brenda Thompson, America's first black female police commissioner.
Syleena Johnson took to music early, growing up not only with a musical father, but also listening to influential artists such as Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Tina Turner, The Dells, and Mavis Staples. She would later apply this love of soul as a member of her high school gospel choir.
But Syleena's road to music was hardly easy. Her father, Syl, was not encouraging, as his lackluster success with his craft led him to think little of the music industry. On top of that, Syleena suffered from vocal nodules and had to go through speech therapy. And when Syleena was 15, her parents split up. Despite these setbacks, Syleena's relationship with both her parents and her music remained strong: She contributed as a singer and songwriter on her father's 1994 album, Back in the Game. After having nodes removed from her vocal cords, she took two years of speech therapy. She has seven years of vocal training. All the hard work made Johnson one of her generation's most soulful and realistic R&B singers.
That same year, Syleena Johnson began attending Iowa's Drake University, where she worked in classical and gospel choirs as well as jazz ensembles. Originally a psychology major, success at a talent show convinced her that her strength had always been in music. She switched to a music major and began recording her own songs. In 1996, she transferred to Illinois State University, and majored at music. In September 1997, Johnson met an assistant scout for Jive Records at a charity basketball game. That contact allowed her to send in a demo tape, which had an immediate impact; days later, she got a callback from a Jive executive with an offer for a deal. "That's a miracle," Syleena later observed. "Demo tapes don't get heard like that." The experience renewed her resolve.
A hiatus from school in 1998 coincided with the collapse of her relationship with an abusive boyfriend. But the ordeal gave Johnson the raw material for her album, which traced a young woman's failed relationship and the healing that followed. The album, Chapter 1: Love, Pain & Forgiveness, was released in 2001. The album received much praise, but despite its No. 1 position on Billboard's Heatseekers chart the week of its release, the album was not a commercial success.