- Began singing in public at the age of 13 when she joined her church's choir.
- Was a cheerleader in high school.
- Made her film debut in The Color Purple (1985), in which she performed a solo rendition of "God Is Tryin' to Tell You Something."
- Entered college intending to become a doctor, majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. Shortly after graduation, however, she decided to pursue a career in show business.
- Lived in Okinawa, Japan, from 1995 to 2001 with her then-husband, who was in the Marines. During their stay, she carved out a successful singing career in the area and appeared in two Japanese TV commercials.
- Performed at Atlanta's Sambuca Jazz Café every week from 2002 until it closed in December 2010.
- Volunteers with BookPALS, which promotes literacy to young children through storytelling activities.
- Louis Stukes — Ex-husband
- Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States (BS in Biology, 1983)
- Birth Name: Wanda Maria Howell
- Birth Place: Gastonia, North Carolina, United States
- Profession: Actor, Jazz singer
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