Miki Howard (born Alicia Michelle Howard on September 30, 1962 in Chicago, Illinois) is a female R&B singer.

She is the daughter of gospel singer, Josephine Howard, who sang with the Caravans and Clay Graham, who sung with the Pilgrim Jubilees. As a child, her mother would take her to the homes of singers Aretha Franklin and Mavis Staples.

Miki and her family later moved to Los Angeles. At the age of 15, she performed at a teen pageant where she met singer, Augie Johnson, who was a member of the R&B group, Side Effect and chose her to be a singer in the group.

In 1981, Miki gave birth to her son Brandon and in 1984, she gave birth to her second son Nicholas. She had both sons with Augie. After he refused to marry her, Miki left him in 1985 and she raised her sons as a single parent.

During that same year, she was ready for a solo career, so she left Side Effect & put together a demo which landed her a record deal with Atlantic Records. In 1986, Miki released her debut album, “Come Share My Love” which peaked at #171 on the Billboard 200 and #19 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart. The title song peaked at #5 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 23 weeks.

The second single, a cover version of Glenn Miller’s song, “Imagination” peaked at #13 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 16 weeks.

The last single from the album, “Come Back to Me Lover” peaked at #33 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 11 weeks.

During that same year, Miki went on her first concert tour and opened for R&B\funk group, Cameo. She was also featured on the “Fatal Beauty” movie soundtrack with the song, “Edge of Love.”

Shortly after signing to Atlantic Records, Miki began an on-again, off-again romance with the late Gerald LeVert which inspired a series of duets between them.

In November of 1987, Miki released her sophomore album, “Love Confessions” which peaked at #145 on the Billboard 200 and #13 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.

The first single released from the album, “Baby, Be Mine” peaked at #5 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 20 weeks. The song featured saxophonist Sam Peake. The song was dedicated to Gerald Levert.

The second single from the album, “That’s What Love Is” (featuring Gerald LeVert) peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 16 weeks.

The last single released from the album, “Crazy” peaked at #38 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 10 weeks.

In March of 1988, Miki won a Soul Train Music Award for “Best New Artist.” In 1989, Miki released her self-titled third album, which peaked at #112 on the Billboard 200 and #4 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.

The first single from the album, “Ain’t Nuthin’ in the World” topped Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart for a week in December of 1989, staying on the chart for 18 weeks.

The second single, “Love Under New Management” peaked at #2 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 19 weeks. The third single, a cover version of Aretha Franklin’s “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 15 weeks.

In 1989, Miki married a man named Eddie Phelps and she had a daughter named Kaitlyn. Their marriage was reportedly abusive with Miki claiming that Eddie helped blackball her in the music industry for several years after there were frequent outbursts with her record companies.

In 1990, she was nominated for an American Music Award for “Favorite Female Soul/R&B Artist.” In 1992, Miki released her fourth album, “Femme Fatale” on Giant Records which peaked at #110 on the Billboard 200 and #7 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.

The album featured cover versions of Billie Holiday’s “Good Morning Heartache” and Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ “Hope That We Can Be Together Soon.”

Miki scored her only pop hit with the single, “Ain’t Nobody Like You” which peaked at #84 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped Billboard’s R&B Singles chart for a week in November of 1992, staying on the chart for 24 weeks.The second single from the album, “Release Me” peaked at #43 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 16 weeks.

Two songs from the album, “But I Love You” and “Shining Through” received airplay on R&B radio.

During that same year, Miki portrayed the role of Billie Holiday in the Spike Lee directed\produced movie, “Malcolm X.” In 1993, she starred in the Janet Jackson\Tupac Shakur movie, “Poetic Justice.” During that same year, Miki released her fifth album, “Miki Sings Billie: A Tribute to Billie Holiday” which peaked at #72 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.

Even though there weren’t any official singles released from the album, her version of “Don’t Explain” received airplay on R&B and jazz radio. The album became Miki’s last release on Giant Records. In 1996, Miki released her first live album, “Live Plus” on Warlock Records. The album didn’t make the Billboard 200. During that same year, she got a divorce from Eddie after years of separation.

In 1997, Miki released her sixth studio album, “Can’t Count Me Out” which became Miki’s first album not to make it on the Billboard 200 chart. The album featured a duet with Terrance Trent D’Arby.

During her marriage to Eddie, Miki developed an addiction to cocaine and eventually became addicted to crack. In 2000, she went into detox and has been clean since.  According to Miki, Gerald Levert helped her end her drug addiction.

 In 2001, Miki released her seventh album, “Three Wishes” on Peak Records which peaked at #44 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart, #60 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart and #25 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart.

One of the songs on the album, “Meant to Be” was produced by “Family Matters” actor, Darius McCrary, who also provided background vocals on the track as well.

The album was nominated for “Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album” at the 2002 Grammy Awards, but lost out to Gladys Knight. Also in 2001, Miki’s greatest hits album, “The Very Best of Miki Howard” was released. It features her top 5 R&B singles and her 2 #1 R&B hit songs. In 2006, Miki released her eighth album, “Pillow Talk” on Shanachie Records which peaked at #60 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart. The album consisted of cover versions of classic R&B songs.

Her relationship with Gerald LeVert continued until his death in 2006. Miki attended his funeral.In 2008, Miki released her ninth album, “Private Collection” under her own record label, Branicka Records. She worked with music producer\singer Chuckii Booker on the album’s first 5 tracks.

In 2010, Miki was featured in an episode of the TV One network show, “Unsung.”

In February of 2011, she was featured on the TV One special, “Way Black When” which showcased African Americans’ impact in entertainment through the 70’s to the 90’s. Miki was featured in the 80’s segment of the program and performed “Ain’t Nobody Like You.”

In March of 2011, Miki embarked on a US tour, “Throwback Unplugged Tour” featuring R&B musicians Dru Hill, K-Ci & JoJo, and Bell Biv Devoe.
Miki Howard - I Choose to Be Happy (2015)These days, Miki is still active in the music business. In 2014, she released an EP called “I Choose to Be Happy.”

To see Miki’s official website, go to:
www.mikihowardmedia.com/

To see the music video for “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do),” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hAdwhJZbTI

To see the music video for “Love Under New Management,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk_wXdZeyQQ

To see the music video for “That’s What Love Is,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC-XCiFSF6c

To see a fan-made video for “Baby, Be Mine,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kNVAvpBh6A

To see a fan-made video for “Come Share My World,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_OmlzhuOjQ

To see a fan-made video for “Release Me,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8lEyfVS45c

To see a fan-made video for “Ain’t Nobody Like You,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVvyDNUIYTI

To see a fan-made video for “Imagination,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSPkXo3KgrI

To see a fan-made video for “Crazy,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OeAIpF23pM

[updated on 01\17\2016]

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