Her mother was a gospel singer.
When she was young, she sang with a choir.
She recorded over 25 albums. She performed with Ray Charles and Johnny Mathis.
Her recording of "I Wish You Love," the English-language version of a French song recorded by Charles Trenet, became her most enduring hit.
She sang in church choirs, and attended concerts at the Apollo Theater while growing up. When she was 15, she sneaked out of the house and lied about her age to compete in the Apollo's amateur-night contest, which she won.
Has one son, Richard.