From an auspicious beginning as a guest vocalist on Quincy Jones' Q's Jook Joint album, Tamia Washington has proven herself one of the most gorgeous-voiced singer of her generation. And while the quality of the material she has performed has been occasionally uneven, her high points have been simply marvelous.
Born in 1976 in Windsor, Ontario, the diminutive singer first came to the attention of Jones at a Los Angeles party where the 18-year old was performing. He brought her in to sing "You Put A Move On My Heart" on Jook Joint, and she immediately wowed the music world, receiving a Grammy nomination.
After a few more guest appearances, Tamia release her debut album in 1998, hitting with both "Imagination" and "So Into You." But it was her follow-up album, A Nu Day, that propelled her to the top of the charts via the wonderful "Stranger In My House," a dynamic performance that gave her adult contemporary success via the ballad version as well as club success for the dance remix.
Tamia married basketball star Grant Hill, but their new family was plagued with ailments over the next few years. Hill missed the better part of four seasons due to an ravaging infection in his foot while Tamia was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Both slowly overcame their afflictions and began raising a family. During this period Tamia releaed More, which provided her a middling chart hit with "Officially Missing You."
With her disease in remission, Tamia went independent and released Between Friends in 2006, working principally with Rodney Jerkins. It was a nice comeback for the strong-voiced singer, hitting the R&B top ten and scoring with the hits "Can't Get Enough" and "Me."
Tamia returned in 2012 with Beautiful Surprise.
By Chris Rizik