MONIFAH CARTER

MONIFAH CARTER

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East Harlem, NY born Monifa Carter was a child prodigy at the tender young age of seven, exuding talents as both a singer and an actor. She appeared as a principal in the first national Hi-C Drink Box commercial and can be credited with several other national commercials. Monifah’s theatrical debut was at the age of eleven when she landed the starring role as “Hermia” in an off- Broadway production of Shakespeare’s, “A Midsummers Night’s Dream“. Monifah was a “triple threat” and a force to be reckoned with. After catching the eye of the late Gregory Hines, he saw to it that she received a two year scholarship to his dance school, Hines & Hatchett. She was accepted into both the voice and drama departments at the prestigious F.H. Laguardia High School of the Performing Arts in New York City, where she opted to technically study her first love, singing. This coupled with her early exposure to a wide variety of musical genres, fertilized the development of her unique vocal style. Following high school and the birth of her daughter, Monifah was hired as a background vocalist for Reggae superstar Maxi Priest and accompanied him on his 1992-94 world Tour. As fate would have it, Monifah was reacquainted with rapper Heavy D through mutual associates. It was a match made in musical heaven, which gave birth to her first solo album,“Moods...Moments”, executive produced by Heavy D, Track Masters and Vincent Herbert. She had immediate success with the radio hit, "I Miss You (Come Back Home)" which was featured on the hit TV show "New York Undercover" soundtrack. The album featured the hits: “I Miss You (Come Back Home),” “You” and “You Don’t Have to Love Me,” all of which received heavy rotation on BET. The album was RIAA certified Platinum. The main attraction, however, was Monifah's ambient voice that shines on gospel-inspired ballads such as, "Jesus Is Love". Equally as compelling were the sensual, "You" and the bluesy "You Don't Have To Love Me". Heavy D pointed out, “ Monifah is in a class by herself. It is rare for a performer to have a good voice and a great personality. She managed to combine those elements with a downtown cool image that puts her ahead of her peers. Everyone will fall in love with her, I believe in Monifah and her longevity”. Producer Sean “Puffy” Combs noted, “Once in a blue moon someone or something like this comes along. Monifah is special. She’s got all the right things to make it happen”. Monifah was credited as executive producer on her follow-up CD "Mo'Hogany”. It featured the hot track “Touch It”, which peaked at #9 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was also a crossover hit, peaking at #1 for four consecutive weeks on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. The album was RIAA certified double Platinum. Monifah’s third album Home, released in 2000, was produced by Teddy Riley that debuted “I Can Tell,” “Brown Eyes” and “Fairytales”, was RIAA certified Gold. As an artist Monifah understands that through the gifts she has been blessed with, she has the platform to touch and change lives. Her messages and images portrayed in her video’s were truly before their time. In songs such as, “Nobody’s Body” Monifah encouraged monogamy and finding love instead of casual sex. She later wrote and Co-directed her controversial video “I Can Tell” which was a “whistle-blowing”, of sorts, on the down-low phenomena. Monifah believes, “We need to find solutions to the problems in our community and allow positive resolutions to resonate through our art”. Soon after the release of her last album, Monifah returned to the theatre and toured in several successful urban productions. She appeared in the stage adaptation of Michael Baisden’s book, “ Men Cry in the Dark”, Dwight Baxter’s, “Will A Real Man Please Stand Up” and Nicci Gilbert’s, “Soul Kittens Cabaret”, among others. Possessing a fan base of over two million Monifah continues to captivate her audiences and as an artist understands that through the gifts she has been blessed with, she has the platform to touch and change lives. She is currently writing, producing & recording her fourth CD, as she continues performing live with her band, “SoDisrespectful!”. Armed with a testimony, a passion for healing and the gift of transparency, Monifah is one of the break-out stars of TvOne’s record- breaking, docu-series, “R&B DIVAS” alongside good friends and industry peers Faith Evans and Nicci Gilbert-Daniels of (Brownstone). It chronicles the lives, careers, triumphs & struggles of five successful, 90s R&B artist.