Known for her work in numerous music genres, this American songwriter is also notable for founding a business called The Centaur Agency and an independent music publishing company called The Black Jaguar Music Company.
She wanted to be a singer growing up and wrote her first song when she was just ten years old.
She published a work of poetry that pays tribute to Mariah Carey.
Her marriage to filmmaker Joseph Strickland resulted in children named Nathaniel, Nairobi, and Naras.
She idolized fellow Illinois-born singer Chaka Khan growing up.