Mya Biography

Mya Marie Harrison was born on October 10, 1979 in Washington, D.C. to an accountant mother named Theresa and a musician father named Sherman Harrison. From her mother's side, she inherits the Italian blood while from her father's she owns the African American heritage plus the artistic blood. After she was born, two other boys named Chaz and Nijel were also born to the family. As a child, Mya took interest in art, mainly dancing. She also took course in playing violin and singing but dancing took most of her time. Before she emerged as a teen, she had joined a dancing group called 'Tappers With Attitude' which gave her the experience of performing. Upon leaving the group, she traveled to New York to study dance theater in Harlem. The jolly teen attracted the attention of Broadway choreographer, Savion Glover, that she quickly became his favorite student. Mya would later on got the first job that she liked and good at, dance instructor.

Meanwhile, back at home, her father kept thinking that Mya can achieve something more with her talent in singing. Recording a demo tape of his daughter, Sherman sent it to Hagg Islam, the President of University Music who, then forwarded it to Interscope. Long story short, Mya was signed to the label when she was only 18 years old. Assisted by Dru Hill, Babyface, Dianne Warren and several other renown musicians, the young and energetic singer recorded her first album which she decided to call after her name. Surprisingly, 'Mya' gained a warm reception from music fans that it eventually peaked at #29 on Billboard Hot 200 chart, a relatively good position for a newcomer. The lead single from the album 'It's All About Me' was thought to be the great starter for the success of the album, so did the next two singles 'Movin' On', and 'My First Night With You'. By October 1998 the album had received a platinum status and its artist gained a street cred in the R'n'B field. She was nominated at the 1999 Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards for the track 'Movin' On', and received greater achievement when she collaborated with Pras Michel and Ol' Dirty Bastard in the song 'Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)'. The song was entered in the nomination of 1999 Grammy Awards which took Mya to whole new different level as an artist.

As of mid 1999, the work on second album was begun with more renown producers like Swizz Beatz, Wyclef Jean and Terry Lewis lending a hand. 'Fear of Flying' was released in April 2000 with 'The Best of Me' as the first single. Unfortunately, the Jadakiss-featuring song performed rather mild on the market and was quickly overtaken by the second, 'Case of the Ex'. Due to the popularity of the song, the album was re-released in November 2000, including a new song called 'Free'. Mya made her biggest breakthrough yet in May 2001 when she joined Christina Aguilera, Pink and Lil' Kim in a collaborative re-make of Labelle's 'Lady Marmalade'. Produced by Missy Elliott and featured on Baz Luhrmann's 'Moulin Rouge!', it was one of the most notable renditions of the 1974 single. Copies of the quartet's cover single flew off the shelves in rapid rate, eventually breaking the 5.5 million milestone and stayed long enough on the top spot of Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song won a 2002 Grammy Award in the category of 'Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals', and it was the second time Mya's name was mentioned in the prestigious awards event.

In 2002, Mya made her big screen debut which was not far from her talent as a singer and dancer. She was cast in the movie adaptation of musical 'Chicago' that was directed by Rob Marshall and featured huge names like Richard Gere, Renee Zellwegger, Catherine Zeta-Jones among others. Mya played one of the prisoners who murdered her boyfriend after finding out he had cheated with other women. Due to the success of the film in the box office, Mya was awarded the 'Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture' at 2003 Screen Actors Guild Awards, sharing it with other cast. In that same year, she also released a studio album called 'Moodring' that opened at #3 on Billboard Hot 200, selling well over 113,000 copies in the first week. Unfortunately, the big opening number was not followed by better sale in the following weeks. It was certified gold in September 2003, the lowest total number of sale at that time, compared to her two previous efforts. In 2004, she returned to big screen by playing Lola Martinez on 'Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights' and cast as Omar Benson Miller's on-screen fiancee on Jennifer Lopez-starring flick 'Shall We Dance'.

Mya also did not take long to start working on the fourth album. However, she later found difficulty in dropping the album that release date was frequently changed and delayed. While her filmography was piling up, her discography was stalled, partly due to her switch of labels from A&M Records to Motown. The materialized work from her album was only heard in March 2007 when a song called 'Lock U Down' featuring Lil Wayne was put up as the first single from the album that was named 'Liberation'. The second single 'Ridin'' was also released on radios four months later, but there was no news regarding the full-length album. In January 2008, Mya revealed her intention to leave Motown and go independent on the release of 'Liberation' which was then scheduled to come as a double CD with 'Smoke Mirrors'.