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Syleena Johnson

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Biography

A Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, arranger, and producer, Syleena Johnson has built a lasting career as a distinctively forthright R&B artist equipped with a powerful voice. The daughter of unsung soul great Syl Johnson, she was born in Harvey, Illinois and grew up listening to Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Tina Turner, the Dells, and Mavis Staples. She performed in local bands and sang in her church choir at Greater Christian Unity, and later worked in classical and gospel choirs as well as in jazz ensembles at Drake University and Illinois State University, where she majored in music. Johnson's soulful rasp, reminiscent of old-school R&B singers, set the tone for her confessional songs. Her first recordings appeared on a mid-'90s album of duets with her father, but she made her proper debut with Love Hangover (1999), which featured covers of Diana Ross' "Love Hangover" and Womack & Womack's "Baby I'm Scared of You." She then signed with the Jive label for three albums, all of which reached the Top 20 of Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart. On Chapter 1: Love, Pain & Forgiveness (2001), Johnson confronted her romantic pitfalls and coming of age with guest appearances by Buddy Guy and R. Kelly. Between Chapter 2: The Voice (2002) and Chapter 3: The Flesh (2005), she appeared on fellow Chicago native Kanye West's Grammy-nominated Top Ten Hot 100 hit "All Falls Down." Surprisingly, sales of the latter seemingly weren't increased by the single's success. Johnson's Jive era was anthologized by I Am Your Woman: The Best of Syleena Johnson (2008). Johnson went independent for Chapter 4: Labor Pains (2009) and toured with Lalah Hathaway, Indira Khan, and Lisa Simone as Daughters of Soul. After Chapter 5: Underrated (2011), supported by a deal with the Shanachie label, she co-starred in TV One's R&B Divas: Atlanta and appeared with some of her fellow reality stars on the R&B Divas (2012) album. Shortly thereafter, Johnson collaborated with Musiq Soulchild and producer Kemar McGregor for 9ine (2013), a set of contemporary reggae duets. Signed to the Blakbyrd label, Johnson released Chapter 6: Couples Therapy (2014), which she worked on extensively with Pierre Medor and Kriss Johnson. Rebirth of Soul (2017) featured covers of classics selected by and recorded with her father, including Syl's own "Is It Because I'm Black." It marked the first time she'd recorded live vocals from a studio room floor with musicians. Syl produced and enlisted veteran Chicago players -- some had worked on his own catalog sessions. In the press release Syleena stated: "I wanted to honor him and classic soul music during a time when Auto-Tune and electronic beats reign supreme." ~ Robert Hicks & Andy Kellman
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Guess What
  3.   My Love
  4.   Like Thorns
  5.   If You Need to Know
  6.   I Am Your Woman
  7.   The Monkey Time
  8.   I'd Rather Go Blind
  9.   Angry Girl
  10.   Slowly
  11.   Faithful to You
  12.   Tonight I'm Gonna Let Go
  13.   Go Head by Na'tee
  14.   If You Play Your Cards Right
  15.   You Ain't Right
  16.   Dear You
  17.   Maury Povich featuring Cold Hard
  18.   Another Relationship
  19.   Chain of Fools
  20.   We Did It
  21.   The Champ
  22.   Label Me
  23.   A Boss
  24.   Stone Wall
  25.   Freedom
  26.   Love Theory featuring Maysa
  27.   These Arms of Mine
  28.   [Untitled]
  29.   Wild Horses
  30.   Fade Away
  31.   My Shoes
  32.   I Believe in Love
  33.   There'll Come a Time
  34.   You Said by Liberty City
  35.   No Words
  36.   Silence
  37.   Fool's Gold by Leela James
  38.   Ain't No Love
  39.   The Voice/Intro
  40.   Shoo Fly
  41.   Interlude: Redstorm's Domestic Lesson
  42.   Phone Sex
  43.   One Day
  44.   Your Love
  45.   Labor Pains
  46.   Classic Love Song
  47.   Go
  48.   Be Me
  49.   I'd Rather Be Wrong
  50.   I Cut My Hair
  51.   If I Was Your World
  52.   Still Open
  53.   It Is True
  54.   Unstoppable
  55.   And Then... (Interlude)
  56.   The End (Outro)
  57.   Baby I'm So Confused
  58.   Meanwhile... (Interlude)
  59.   Make Me Yours
  60.   Perfectly Worthless
  61.   Boom
  62.   No Beginner
  63.   Heaven in Hell
  64.   So Big by Musiq Soulchild
  65.   Underrated
  66.   Bad Person
  67.   Peace Pipe
  68.   Where's the Love featuring Teefa
  69.   Personal Trainer
  70.   My First
  71.   Is It Because I'm Black
  72.   Intro
  73.   Go Home
  74.   The Flesh - Outro
  75.   Only a Woman
  76.   Time
  77.   More
  78.   Special Occasion
  79.   The Flesh - Interlude
  80.   Outro
  81.   Guitars of the Heart (Happy)
  82.   So Willingly
  83.   I'm Gon' Cry
  84.   All of Me
  85.   He's Gonna Do You In by Buddy Guy
  86.   You Got Me Spinnin'
  87.   Feel the Fire by Musiq Soulchild
  88.   Now That I Got You
  89.   Hit on Me
  90.   Lonely Teardrops
  91.   All This Way for Love
  92.   Is That You
  93.   Apartment for Rent
  94.   You
  95.   The Beginning (Intro)
  96.   Hypnotic featuring Fabolous
  97.   Cry
  98.   He Makes Me Say
  99.   The Makings of You
  100.   Harmony
  101.   You Let Me Down
  102.   Everybody Wants Something
  103.   Leave Me Alone
  104.   Bull's-Eye (Suddenly)
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