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Chrisette Michele Payne (born December 8, 1982), known professionally as Chrisette Michele, is an American R&B and soul singer–songwriter on the Island Def Jam Music Group. She won a Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance in 2009 for her song "Be OK".


Michele was born in Central Islipmarker, New Yorkmarker, and grew up in Patchoguemarker to parents who worked as deacons to their church. This connection inspired her to reflect on childhood memories in her own debut album. She sings in a jazz style reminiscent of singers such as Esther Phillips, Sarah Vaughn, Jill Scott, Macy Gray, Erykah Badu, and Ella Fitzgerald.

The daughter of a deacon father and choir director mother, she led gospel choirs in high school. She attended Five Towns College in Dix Hillsmarker, New York, and graduated with a vocal performance degree.

Music career


Michele has been featured on several popular hip hop albums. Most recently she was featured on The Game's album LAX on "Let Us Live". On Jay-Z's Kingdom Come she was featured on the second single "Lost One", while on Nas' Hip Hop Is Dead, she was featured three times: on the album's second single "Can't Forget About You", the Kanye West-produced "Still Dreaming", and the final track "Hope". Recently she also appeared on the bonus track "Slow Down", from Ghostface Killah's The Big Doe Rehab.

I Am (2007)

Michele's debut album, I Am, was released on June 18, 2007. The song "Your Joy" was released on iTunes as a free single of the week. The album spawned four singles: "If I Have My Way", "Best of Me", "Be OK", and "Love Is You". The album's lead single "If I Have My Way" charted at number four on Billboard s Hot Adult R&B Airplay and number twenty-four on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Following its success, "Best of Me" charted on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks at number twenty-one. In December 2007, "Be OK" was released as the third single, charting at number sixty-four on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and number twenty-one on the Hot Adult R&B Airplay. In 2008, "Love Is You" was released as the album's fourth and final single on the album; it reached number ninety on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and number twenty on the Hot Adult R&B Airplay.

Epiphany (2009)

In 2008, Michele appeared on the track "Rising Up" from The Roots' album Rising Down. Michele guest starred as herself in The CW's Girlfriends, in the episode entitled "What's Black-a-Lackin'?", which originally aired on February 11, 2008. She also wrote a song for Tyler Perry's House of Payne entitled "I've Gotta Love Jones". The video premiered in 2008 on television, though the song is not publicly available. From May to July 2008 Michele embarked on a nationwide co-headlining tour with fellow soul singer Raheem DeVaughn called the Art of Love Tour; Solange Knowles served as the opening act. In September 2008, Michele performed twice at the Evening of Stars: A Tribute to Patti Labelle.

In mid-2008, Michele began recording for her second album, Epiphany. In January 2009, the album's title track was released as the lead single. Released on May 5, 2009, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 selling 83,000 copies in its opening week.

Awards and nominations

Vibe Music Award
  • 2008, Breakthrough Artist of the Year (Nominated)

Grammy Award
  • 2008, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: "If I Have My Way" (Nominated)
  • 2009, Best Urban/Alternative Performance: "Be OK" (Won)

BET Award
  • 2008, Best New Artist: (Nominated)

BET J/Centric
  • 2008, Virtual Awards: Soul Approved: (Won)
  • 2008, Female Artist of the Year: (Nominated)

NAACP Image Awards
  • 2008, Outstanding New Artist: (Nominated)

Soul Train Awards
  • 2009, Best R&B/Soul Female Artist: (nominated)

Urban Music Awards
  • 2009, Best Female Act: (Nominated)



Year Album Chart positions Sales and Certifications
U.S. U.S. R&B
2007 I Am
  • Debut studio album
  • Released: June 19, 2007
29 5
  • U.S. sales: 419,000
2009 Epiphany
  • Second studio album
  • Released: May 5, 2009
1 1
  • U.S. sales: 305,623+


Year Single Chart positions Album
U.S. U.S. R&B
2007 "If I Have My Way" 113 24 I Am
"Best of Me"
"Be OK" (featuring 61
2008 "Love Is You" 90
2009 "Epiphany" 89 14 Epiphany
"Blame It on Me" 28
"What You Do" (featuring Ne-Yo) 57
"Fragile" (featuring Wale) TBA TBA

Featured singles

Year Single Chart positions Album
U.S. U.S. R&B
2006 "Lost One" (Jay-Z featuring Chrisette Michele) 58 19 Kingdom Come
2007 "Can't Forget About You" (Nas featuring Chrisette Michele) 46 Hip Hop Is Dead

Other charted songs

Year Single Chart positions Album
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
2007 "In This For You" 122 I Am


  1. Chrisette Michele official website @ - Biography
  2. Afrobella of the Week: Chrisette Michele
  3. Chrisette Michele Partners With TBS for ‘House Of Payne’ Campaign. Singersroom
  4. GRAMMY Nominated Chrisette Michele to Co-Headline "The Art of Love Tour"
  5. New Music: Chrisette Michele "Epiphany" Off New Album - Listen Now!
  6. Chrisette Michele Turns To Ne Yo For 'Epiphany' Led Sophomore Album
  8. Chrisette Michele Has An 'Epiphany' & So Do We
  10. [1]. Retrieved on 2009-05-08.

External links

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