- As a small child, began singing gospel music at Brooklyn's Cornerstone Baptist Church.
- At the age of 9, made her Broadway debut in Maggie Flynn.
- Won the Amateur Hour talent contest at the Apollo Theater for six consecutive weeks at the age of 9.
- In 1974, originated the role of Dorothy in the Broadway production The Wiz.
- In the early 1980s, went on tour with Teddy Pendergrass and the Commodores.
- Has released numerous R&B albums and several of her singles have reached #1 on the Billboard charts, including "I Feel Good All Over" and "Home."
- In 2010, performed at the Caring For Kids benefit concert in Chicago in order to raise money for Shriners Hospitals for Children.
- 1980, Grammy — Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female: Winner
- Joseph Mills — Father
- Christine Mills — Mother
- Jeffrey Daniels — Ex-husband
- Michael Saunders — Ex-husband
- Farad Mills — Son
- Attended the Juilliard School, New York, New York, United States