Got her big break by giving her demo to Sony president Tommy Mottola at a party.
In 2006, started lines of fragrances and jewelry, and signed to produce musical ring tones on cell phones for Pepsi.
Insured her legs for $1 billion.
Her subtle, decidedly unglamorous turn as a social worker in the acclaimed 2009 drama Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire earned her a Breakthrough Performance Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
That same year, Billboard magazine named her 2005 hit "We Belong Together" as top song of the decade.
Her 1994 hit "All I Want for Christmas Is You," which Rolling Stone calls the fourth-best rock Christmas song ever, in 2011 became the first Yule song to top two million in digital sales.
Her charitable efforts have earned her a Congressional Horizon Award.
1990, Grammy — Best New Artist: Winner
2005, Grammy — Best R&B Song: Winner
1990, Grammy — Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: Winner
2013, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
2005, Grammy — Best Contemporary R&B Album: Winner
2005, Grammy — Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: Winner