- Born in Oklahoma but was raised in Newark, NJ.
- Entered talent contests as a child; in her first competition she won the grand prize, a car.
- Made her TV debut on the syndicated show Big Blue Marble.
- In 1980 played the role of Rosie in the off-Broadway musical Really Rosie.
- While still in high school, made her film debut in the 1986 musical Little Shop of Horrors.
- Released her debut album when she was 18.
- Her choreographed dance moves are featured in the 1990 film House Party.
- Was diagnosed in 2001 with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory condition that produces small lumps of cells in various organs of the body.
- Won an NAACP Image Award in 2003 for her work on My Wife and Kids.
- 1991, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Supporting Female: Nominee
- Duane Martin — Husband (separated)
- Xen Martin — Son
- Romona Raye — Mother
- Germaine Campbell — Brother
- Stanley Campbell — Brother
- Ezekiel Czar Martin — Son
- Clifton Campbell — Father
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