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Growing up in Spanish Harlem, Monifah was immersed in music from a young age. Her family encouraged her to get into musical theatre, and also enrolled her in a prestigious performing arts school. She toured singing back-up for Maxi Priest, and in 1995 released her first single "I Miss You (Come Back Home)" on the New York Undercover soundtrack. The song was a hit and soon after Heavy D signed her to Uptown Records, which released her debut album Moods...Moments. Unlike a lot of other vocalists, Monifah switches up her styles from track to track, exploring R&B, hip-hop, and Gospel. She released her follow-up Mo'hogony in '98 and Home in 2000.

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