Heather Headley

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Born on the 5th of October 1974 to parents Hannah and Eric Headley, Trinidadian-American Heather Headley is a popular song-writer, actress and record producer. Headley attended Northrop High School, and was a member of their resident show choir, Charisma, and starred as Fanny Brice in the school’s production of Funny Girl.

 

After graduating from Northrop High School, Headley attended North-western University to study communications and musical theatre until the last day of her junior year, when she made the decision to become a part of the musical Ragtime and drop out of school.

 

At the age of four she started to play music like soca and calypso, at age 15, Heather and her family left the islands and moved to Fort Wayne, IN, where her father secured the pastor ship of a local church.

 

Heather worked with a host of top producers on the album, including Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis (Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston), Dallas Austin (TLC, Toni Braxton), Shep Crawford (Deborah Cox, Whitney Houston, and Britain’s D’Influence (Shola Ama, Mark Morrison).

 

She co-wrote several songs on This Is Who I Am, including the upbeat “Falling’ for you,” “Sunday,” and the moving “Sista Girl.” Joining her on the album are such esteemed guest musicians as guitar great Keb Mo’ and Jamaican dancehall master Chuckie Star (who takes a solo turn on the song “Falling’ for you”).

 

In 1997, Heather was offered the opportunity to originate the role of Nala, the feisty lioness, in what would become one of the greatest successes of Broadway History, The Lion King. During her run with The Lion King, Disney asked Heather to audition for a new musical, Aida, the classic story of a Nubian princess, written by Elton John and Tim Rice.

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She won a 2000 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her role in “Aida”, she released her debut album in 2002, and “This is who I am”. In September 2003, she walked down the aisle and tied the knot with her long-time boyfriend, former New York Jets star Brian Musso and gave birth to her 1st child at age 35, a son John David Musso on December 1, 2009 and on March 26, 2014, and Headley announced that she and Musso are expecting another child.

 

Heather remained largely unaware of the extent of her success, as playing a lion for her was reminiscent of carnivals in Trinidad, and therefore, nothing to write home about.

 

Around the same time, Disney was planning to go ahead on another musical, Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida, written by Elton John and Tim Rice, and they asked Miss Headley to audition for the lead. This $20 million production is about the romantic life of a Nubian princess enslaved by the Egyptians.

 

From November 2012 until August 2013, Headley played the role of Rachel Marron, in the musical adaptation of Whitney Houston’s 1992 movie, The Bodyguard at London’s Adelphi Theatre. She was nominated for an Olivier Award and what’s On Stage Award for this performance.