Toya (born LaToya Rodriguez on July 22, 1983 in St. Louis, Missouri) is a female R&B singer from the 2000s. She was born to an African-American mother & a Puerto-Rican father. She is also a graduate of the Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School.
While attending St. Louis University, Toya was asked by music managers Courtney Benson & Tony Davis if she had a demo & if she would give it to them by the end of the weekend.
She lied to them & then spent the next three days going to her classes, work and to the studio where she recorded the demo until 6:00 in the morning. In May of 2001, Toya released her debut single “I Do!” which peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100, #10 on Billboard’s Top 40 Tracks chart, #6 on Billboard’s Top 40 Mainstream chart, #8 on Billboard’s Rhythmic Top 40 chart, #3 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #25 on Billboard’s Hot R&B\Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, staying on the chart for 20 weeks.
Toya was inspired to write the lyrics for the song after she saw male model Sean Newman, who happened to be the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ former boyfriend. Left Eye was also Toya’s labelmate at the time. In August of 2001, she released her self-titled debut album on Arista Records. The album managed to peak at #109 on the Billboard 200, #60 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart and topped Billboard’s Heatseekers albums chart. The follow-up single from the album “No Matta What (Party All Night)” peaked at #89 on the Billboard Hot 100, #34 on Billboard’s Rhythmic Top 40 chart and #33 on Billboard’s Top 40 Mainstream chart.
In 2002, Toya was featured on the single “Hey Ma” (featuring rappers Cam’ron, Freeky Zeeky and Juelz Santana) which peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. She was also featured on the song “Stick Out Ya Wrist” featuring rapper Nelly.
After that, Toya took a hiatus from the music scene. In 2005, she married Tamaurice “Tee” Martin, a former University of Tennessee quarterback & current assistant coach at the University of Southern California.
Together, they have two sons: Kaden (born in 2004) and Cannon (born in 2012).
In 2006, Toya was featured on the album “Hard Times in Da Country” on the track “I Had a Dream” (featuring Terror Time).
In January of 2011, Toya announced on Twitter that she wanted to record music again. As of April of 2013, she is currently attempting to record music.
To see the music video for “I Do,” go to:
To see the music video for “No Matta What (Party All Night),” go to: