Heather Headley (born October 5, 1974) is a Trinidadian-American
R&B and soul singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress.
She has won one Tony Award and one Grammy Award.
Headley was born in Barataria, Trinidad and Tobago, the daughter
of Hannah and Eric Headley. At age four, Headley began playing
the music of her native Trinidad, including calypso, reggae, and
soca. In 1989 she moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana in
the United States at the age of fifteen with her mother and brother
Junior, when her father was offered a job as pastor of McKee Street
Church of God.
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 Northwestern University to study communications
and musical theatre until the last day of her junior year, when she
made the difficult decision to become a part of the musical Ragtime
and drop out of school.
On September 6, 2003, Headley married Brian Musso,
formerly of the New York Jets. Both attended Northwestern University.
On December 1, 2009, they welcomed their first child John David.
In 1997, she originated the role of Nala in The Lion King, the Broadway
musical. Headley's performance was well-received and she then originated
the title role in the Broadway adaptation of Aida, earning the Tony
Award for Best Actress in 2000. In 1999, she appeared in the Encores!
production of Do Re Mi, with Nathan Lane, Randy Graff, and Brian
Stokes Mitchell. She also starred in a concert version of the musical
Dreamgirls alongside fellow Tony Award winners Audra McDonald and
In the autumn of 2006, Heather performed Hal David and Burt Bacharach's
song "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", from the 1968 musical
Promises, Promises for "The Kennedy Center Presents: The 2006
Mark Twain Prize," honoring playwright Neil Simon. The ceremony
was later broadcast on PBS.
On 5 July 2007 Headley did a guest appearance for Andrea Bocelli's
Vivere Live in Tuscany concert in Lajatico, Italy. They performed
Vivo Per Lei and The Prayer. Headley sang "My Country, 'Tis
of Thee" (also known as "America") with Josh Groban
on January 18, 2009 during the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration
at the Lincoln Memorial. On March 12, 2009, Headley sang, "I
Wish" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Headley released her debut album, This Is Who I Am, in October 2002
on RCA Records. Although its first single, "He Is", was
not very successful, the second single, "I Wish I Wasn't",
achieved moderate success. The work on this album earned her a Grammy
Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and for
Best New Artist.
Her second album, In My Mind, was delayed due to the various executive
shake-ups associated with RCA parent BMG's merger with Sony.
Under BMG North America chairman/CEO Clive Davis for the first time,
Headley released her second album In My Mind in January 2006. The
title track "In My Mind" ( produced by India.Arie collaborator
Shannon Sanders ) was released as the first single; and its music
video was directed by Diane Martel. The song reached number-one on
the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The second single "Me
Time" was released to Urban AC outlets only. An album track, "Am
I Worth It", served to promote Headley's New March of Dimes
Educational Campaign "I Want My 9 Months".
In 2009, Headley, along with Al Green, released a version of the
song People Get Ready on the compilation album Oh Happy Day: An All-Star
On the 31st of January 2010, Heather won her first Grammy Award
for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album for Audience of One on
the EMI Gospel label.
In December 2010, Headley performed a duet version of “Blue
Christmas” and “My Prayer” with Italian tenor icon
Andrea Bocelli on Bocelli's "My Christmas" tour in six
cities. Of special note: at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on
Saturday, December 4, 2010, the audience insisted on a rare second
encore with Bocelli, as they were captivated with her as much as
Bocelli. Bocelli had to summon the detail to go back and get her
to come back on stage. This is noted because Bocelli has other performers
he travels with, but rarely do they get the ovation on the level
of Bocelli, but this crowd clearly and loudly ovated their praise
of Headley's stunning performance.
Year Album US US R&B
2002 This Is Who I Am
(Certified: Gold) #38 #14
2006 In My Mind
(Certified: Gold) #5 #1
2009 Audience of One #27 #6
Year Song US Hot 100 US R&B US Dance US Gospel Hot Adult R&B
Hot R&B Recurrents Album
2002 "He Is" 90 38 4 - - 2 This Is Who I Am
2003 "I Wish I Wasn't" 55 15 5 - - 5 This Is Who I Am
2005 "In My Mind" 75 16 1 - - 4 In My Mind
2006 "Me Time" - 35 - - 5 4 In My Mind
2008 "Jesus Is Love" - 90 - 10 29 - Audience of One
Name of the Song Year Album
Can You Feel the Love Tonight 1997 The Lion King on Broadway Cast
Shadowland 1997 The Lion King on Broadway Cast Recording
The Madness of King Scar 1997 The Lion King on Broadway Cast Recording
Love Will Find a Way 1998 Return to Pride Rock
Just One Dream 2001 Golden Dreams (film at Disney's California Adventure
People Get Ready (with Al Green) 2009 Oh Happy Day
Year Category Role Result
2000 Best Actress in a Musical Aida Won
Sarah Siddons Award
2000 Sarah Siddons Award Work in Chicago theatre Won
Year Category Recording Result
2004 Best New Artist "I Wish I Wasn't" Nominated
2004 Best Female R&B Vocal Performance "I Wish I Wasn't" Nominated
2010 Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance "Jesus Is Love" Nominated
2010 Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album "Audience Of One" Won
Billboard Music Awards
2003 R&B/Hip-Hop New Artist of the Year N/A Nominated
NAACP Image Awards
2003 Outstanding New Artist N/A Nominated
2003 Outstanding Female Artist N/A Nominated
Soul Train Awards
2002 Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist "He Is" Nominated
Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards
2003 R&B/Soul Album of the Year - Solo "This Is Who I Am" Won
2003 Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist - Solo "He Is" Won
2003 Best R&B/Soul Single - Solo "He Is" Nominated
2006 Cool Like That Award N/A Nominated