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Mýa

Mýa Marie Harrison, professionally known as Mýa or Mýa Harrison, is an American grammy award winning R&B and pop, singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer, choreographer, model, activist, and philanthropist who rose to fame during the late 1990's. Harrison is responsible for such hall mark hits such as "It's All About Me", "Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)", "The Best of Me", "Case of the Ex", a 2001 chart-topping version of "Lady Marmalade" (for which she won a Grammy Award for in 2002), and "My Love Is Like...Wo", as well as appearances in films such as Chicago (2002) and Cursed (2005). She's released 3 successful studio albums since her arrival in 1998 and has sold over 3.5 millions in the United States alone, tapped dance alongside Savion Glover and Gregory Hines at an early age and has achieved 8 Billboard Top 40 hit singles, 3 Billboard Hot 100 top ten hit singles, and 1 Billboard Hot 100 number one hit single thus far in her career. She's one of many successful acts out of the 1990's R&B era who started out as a teen.

Early life

Mýa was born in Washington, D.C. but raised in Glenn Dale, Maryland to Theresa, an accountant, and Sherman Harrison, a musician and singer. She graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt High School. Her father is Jamaican and her mother is Italian.She also has two younger brothers, Chaz and Nijel.

Mya took dance classes as a child. After briefly losing interest in the art, she returned to dancing in her pre-teens, eventually joining the dance troupe T.W.A. (Tappers With Attitude). She left the group after a short while, heading to New York to study at the Dance Theater of Harlem with Savion Glover, best known as the choreographer/mastermind behind the Broadway spectacular Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk. Her passion for improvisation made her a favorite of Glover, who had her perform solo at the Kennedy Center. Although Mya was best known as a dancer, she was also musically inclined, learning how to sing and play the violin as a child. When her father -- a professional musician -- learned that his daughter could sing and was serious about a musical career, he shopped around the demo tapes, eventually earning the attention of Haqq Islam, president of University Music. Impressed with Mya's audition, Islam signed her to Interscope Records.

Recording career

1997–1998: Mýa (debut album)

In 1997, Mýa signed a recording contract with Haqq Islam's University Records, after being brought to the label by her friends an R&B group Dru Hill. The four members of the group, Tamir "Nokio" Ruffin, Mark "Sisqó" Andrews, Larry "Jazz" Anthony', and James "Woody" Green, wrote and produced half of Mýa eponymous debut album, Mýa. The first two singles, "It's All About Me" and "Movin' On", were co-written by Sisqó; the former song also featured Sisqó on guest vocals, while the latter featured rapper Silkk da Shocker. Both songs reached top ten on the U.S. Billboard R&B/Hip Hop chart while "It's All About Me" also reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The videos for these two songs and for her third single "My First Night With You" were MTV staples through 1998. Mýa received 2 Soul Train Music Awards nomination for Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist for Movin' On and Best R&B/Soul Album Mýa (both beaten by Erykah Badu). The album was certified platinum in October 1998.

In addition to her solo work, Mýa was also a featured artist with Ol' Dirty Bastard on Pras' 1998 Grammy nominated hit, "Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)", from the Bulworth soundtrack. During the same year, Mýa also scored another hit as a featured vocalist on BLACKstreet's "Take Me There" from The Rugrats Movie soundtrack, which also featured guest raps from Mase and Blinky Blink.

2000–2001: Fear of Flying

On April 25, 2000, Mýa released her second album, Fear of Flying. The album debut at number 15 on the Billboard 200 album charts with first week sales of 72,000 copies. Its first single, "The Best of Me" was an urban R&B song that featured rapper Jadakiss and had an even more urban hip hop remix which featured rapper Jay-Z. The song and its remix were hits at urban radio but did not crossover to mainstream radio. Mýa's biggest pop hit came with the second single, "Case of the Ex". The song reached #2 in the U.S. and its music video performed well on MTV's TRL. Following the success of "Case of the Ex", Interscope re-released Fear of Flying on November 7, 2000 with a revised track listing containing two new songs, including the third single "Free". (which was previously on the Bait soundtrack) and a new track titled "Again and Again". "Free" was even more pop-friendly and became quite successful at MTV's TRL and pop radio. Fear of Flying, landed Mýa a Soul Train Music Award nomination for R&B/Soul album. Eventually Fear of Flying went platinum on March 28, 2001 selling more than 1.2 million copies in the U.S. Although Fear of Flying was received with mixed reviews, the album still became a huge commercial success for Mýa launching her career into superstardom. Fear of Flying hit nearly as hard as Mýa's debut, remaining on Billboard 200 for a combine 52 weeks.

In May 2001, Mýa collaborated with Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, and Pink on a remake of LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade". The track was produced by hip hop producers Missy Elliott and Rockwilder and was featured in Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge!. The single sold 5.5 million copies becoming the most successful airplay-only single in history. The song's success was driven by its sexually suggestive video, which featured the four singers dressed in burlesque outfits. P!nk and Mýa later described that the immodest concept almost prevented the video from being filmed; nonetheless, the video was a huge hit on MTV, VH1, and MTV2, and collected several MTV Video Music Awards nominations in 2001. The song was also one of the year's biggest at pop, rhythmic, and even adult top 40. Mýa alongside Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, and Pink not only performed at the Grammys, but also won a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration. "Lady Marmalade" went on to collect numerous awards including 2 MTV Video Music Awards for Video of the Year and Best Video from a Film.

2002–2003: Moodring

After the release and success of Fear of Flying, Mýa began to dabble in acting with a supporting role in the 2002 Academy Award-winning musical film, Chicago, in which she would win a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. In the following years, she continued appearing in films such as Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Shall We Dance? (2004), and Cursed (2005). In 2004, Mýa appeared as a Bond girl in the video game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing; she also sang the video game's theme song, "Everything or Nothing". Mýa also went on to become a spokesperson for the Coca Cola company alongside Common with their ad campaign Real Compared To What.

In July 2003, Mýa released her third long awaited studio album, Moodring. In the U.S., it peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart selling more than 113,000 in its first week of sales, making it Mýa's highest first week sales ever. The first single, the Missy Elliott-produced "My Love Is Like... Wo", became a top 20 hit in the U.S. due to its success on mainstream radio. The video featured Mýa acting as a "one woman circus", performing various circus tricks throughout the song. "My Love Is Like...Wo" was nominated for 2 MTV awards(Best Dance Video and Best Choreography in a Video) but lost both. The album's second single, "Fallen" (which samples "Saudade Vem Correndo" by Stan Getz, as does "Runnin'" by The Pharcyde), was not as successful only managing to peak at #51 on the Billboard Hot 100 single charts. Moodring was considered a commercial disappointment for the singer, selling just 589,000 copies to date, becoming her lowest selling album as well.

In 2003, Mýa posed for Maxim magazine; her pictorial is featured on their Girls of Maxim gallery . She was also a model for King magazine. Mýa has also appeared in various print ads. She signed a six figure contract with Ford Modeling Agency in 2005.

2004–present: Comeback

Myá has been working on her fourth studio album on and off since 2004. Originally conceived as a project called Control Freak, the album's first version was actually scheduled for a mid-2005 release and involving main production by Scott Storch, Dr. Dre, Lil Jon, Rockwilder and songwriter Sean Garrett. She founded the Mya Arts Foundation in 2005. Although she intended to release a dance track called "Let It Go" at a particular time, the singer eventually decided to leave A&M Records in fall 2005 before signing a new contract with Motown Records. Mýa began consulting a few other producers to collaborate on the album, renamed Liberation, including Bryan Michael Cox, Tim & Bob, J. R. Rotem and Tricky Stewart. In mid-2006, however, a buzz single entitled "Ayo!" was leaked onto the internet but due to time-consuming "litigations, court, transitioning from label to label, teaching kids and building a studio"

On March 5, 2007, the album's first single "Lock U Down", a Storch-produced collaboration with Lil Wayne and Daniel E Rivera, was sent to radio. After its failure, a second single entitled "Ridin'" was released in July 2007. The video for "Ridin'" was released in September 2007.

The album was scheduled for release in Fall 2007, but has been pushed back numerous times. In January 2008, rumors swirled that Mya was dropped from her label but were confirmed not true. The album is rumored to finally be released later this year as a double album. In a recent interview, Mya says that she will part ways with Motown this year and possibly go independent. In August, Notrax.jp confirmed that she has contracted with a Japanese label, Manhattan Records and is releasing new album in this year, and it features "an big-name guest" .

Mya endorsed Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the 2008 U.S. elections.

Discography

Tours

  • 1998:Smokin' Groove Tour
  • 1999:Lilith Faith Tour
  • 2000:MTV European Tour
  • 2001:House Of Blues Tour
  • 2003:House Of Blues Tour
  • 2007:Seagrams Live Tour
  • 2007:BET Black College Tour

Broadway

Video Diary:

Filmography

Year Title Role
1999 In Too Deep Loretta
2002 ''Chicago' Mona
2003 Volcano High Yu Cha-i
2004 Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights Lola Martinez
Hip Hop All Stars Herself
Shall We Dance? Vern's Fiancée
2005 Cursed Jenny Tate
2006 Swap Meet Katrina
Ways of the Flesh Valerie
2007 The Metrosexual Jessica
2008 Cover Cynda
Love For Sale Kiely
Penthouse Mitra

Awards and nominations

Year Award
1998 Soul Train Music Award nomination for Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist
Soul Train Music Award nominaton for Best R&B/Soul Album - Female (Mýa).
MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Video from a Film ("Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)")
MTV Video Music Award nomination for Rap Video of the Year ("Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)")
Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Performance by Vocal Group ("Ghetto Supastar")
1999 Lady of Soul nomination for Best Music Video ("Movin' On")
2000 Soul Train Music Award nomination for Best R&B/Soul Album - Female (Fear of Flying)
2001 Billboard Video Award win ("Lady Marmalade")
MTV Video Music Award win for Best Video of the Year ("Lady Marmalade")
MTV Video Music Award win for Best Video from a Film ("Lady Marmalade")
MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Dance Video ("Lady Marmalade")
MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Pop Video ("Lady Marmalade")
MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Choreography ("Lady Marmalade")
MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Art Direction ("Lady Marmalade")
VH1 Music Awards win for Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Just My Video ("Lady Marmalade")
VH1 Music Awards win for My Favorite Video ("Lady Marmalade")
Radio Music Awards win for Song of the Year Top 40 Pop Radio ("Lady Marmalade")
MOBO nomination for Best Album (Fear of Flying)
Teen Choice Awards win for Choice Song Of The Summer ("Lady Marmalade")
TMF Awards-Belgium win for Best Video of the Year ("Lady Marmalade")
TMF Awards-Netherlands win for Best Video of the Year ("Lady Marmalade")
2002 ALMA Awards win for Outstanding Song In A Motion Picture Soundtrack ("Lady Marmalade")
ASCAP Pop Music Awards win ("Lady Marmalade")
BMI Award win ("Lady Marmalade")
Channel Thailand Music Video Awards win ("Lady Marmalade")
Grammy Award win for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals ("Lady Marmalade")
MTV Japan Video Music Award win ("Lady Marmalade")
MVPA Video Award win for Best Styling In A Video ("Lady Marmalade")
2003 MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Dance Video ("My Love is Like..Wo")
MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Choreography in a Video ("My Love is Like..Wo")
Screen Actors Guild Award win for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture ("Chicago").
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award nomination for Best Acting Ensemble ("Chicago").
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award win for Best Acting Ensemble ("Chicago").
2005 MTV Movie Award nomination for Best Frightened Performance ("Cursed").
2006 11th Annual Palm Beach International Film Festival win for Cross Over Award (from singer to actress)

References

External links

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