Born: May 14, 1973
Place of Birth: Pittsburgh, PA
Zodiac Sign: Taurus
Career and Life
Shanice Lorraine Wilson-Knox (née Wilson), better known simply as Shanice, is an American singer–songwriter, actress and dancer. Wilson had the Billboard hit singles "I Love Your Smile" and "Silent Prayer" in 1991 and "Saving Forever for You" in 1993. In 1999, Wilson scored another hit song, "When I Close My Eyes", which peaked at No. 12 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. Wilson is recognized for her coloratura soprano voice and her ability to sing in the whistle register.
Shanice was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and relocated to Los Angeles, California with her mother Crystal, and her aunt Penni. Her mother and aunt went to Los Angeles in pursuit of careers in the music industry. They shifted their focus to Shanice and formed the management company Crystal Penni to cultivate and promote her talents. Shanice was nine years old when she appeared in a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial with the legendary jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald. In 1984, she was part of the regular cast in the first thirteen of the children's program Kids Incorporated. Shanice competed on Star Search as an eleven-year old, and later signed with A&M Records.
In 1987, at the age of 14, A&M Records released her debut album, Discovery. It produced two top-ten R&B hits, "(Baby Tell Me) Can You Dance" and "No ½ Steppin'". Wilson went on to sign a deal with Motown Records in the summer of 1990, releasing Inner Child in late 1991, which included her best-known hit single "I Love Your Smile". It reached the top ten in 22 countries, including the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album also featured a cover of Minnie Riperton's 1974 hit "Lovin' You", a rendition that brought attention to her five-octave vocal range.
After Inner Child, Wilson continued to record albums, including 1994's 21… Ways to Grow with producer Rhett Lawrence a Los Angeles session musician and Earth Wind & Fire guitarist Dick Smith. This effort was followed by a move to LaFace Records in 1997, who later released the 1999 album Shanice. While she has not achieved significant commercial success with subsequent albums, she has contributed to various film soundtracks, such as Boomerang ("Don't Wanna Love You") and The Meteor Man ("It's for You"). Wilson also achieved success with her top-ten hit "Saving Forever for You", from the Beverly Hills 90210 Soundtrack. She also recorded "If I Never Knew You", a duet with Jon Secada, for the original soundtrack of Disney's 1995 film Pocahontas.
Shanice occasionally does background vocals for other artists; she can be heard on Toni Braxton's "Come on Over Here" and "Un-Break My Heart", as well as Usher's "Bedtime". In 2010 she performed vocals on the track "Behind the Mask", from Michael Jackson's posthumous album Michael. Wilson recorded the song "A Midnight Rendezvous" for the 2012 Kinect game Rhythm Party. She also performed the English theme song for the video game The Bouncer, called "Love Is the Gift". Wilson returned to recording after a five-year hiatus and released her fifth studio album Every Woman Dreams on her own label Imajah (named for her two children). The album peaked at No. 30 on the R&B Albums Chart.
In 2019, Shanice returned with the new single "He Won't".
In addition to singing, Wilson is also an actress, first appearing in season five of Family Matters episode "Rock Enroll". In 1997 she became the first black performer to star in the role of Eponine in the musical Les Misérables on Broadway. In 2001, Shanice made an appearance on her husband Flex's show One on One as a singer also she starred in the made-for-TV movie One Special Moment, an adaptation of Brenda Jackson's 1998 novel of the same name. In 2011, Shanice joined Niecy Nash and Frenchie Davis for the 21st Annual "Divas Simply Singing" HIV/AIDS charity event. Shanice and her husband, Flex, are starring in their own reality show Flex & Shanice, which premiered on November 1, 2014, on OWN.
On Valentine's Day 2000, Wilson married actor/comedian Flex Alexander. They have two children, daughter Imani Shekinah Knox (born August 23, 2001) and son Elijah Alexander Knox (born March 5, 2004). Wilson's given name "Shanice", an ad-hoc combination of the name elements Shan- and -ice, first enters the official statistics of most popular given names in the United States in 1988, i.e. in the year after the singer's debut album; its popularity peaked in 1992, at rank 162 of most popularly given girls' names, after Shanice's biggest hit I Love Your Smile and again fell below rank 1000 by the year 2000.