Stage and screen actress who earned a 2013 Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway revival of Pippin. She also starred in the Broadway and London West End productions of Sister Act.
As a young girl, she sang with her church's gospel choir. She later attended Carnegie Mellon University on a musical theater scholarship.
In 2007, she appeared in thirty episodes of All My Children. She starred in the hit TV Show Madam Secretary.
She was raised in a single parent household in South Carolina.
She competed to play Effie White in the 2006 film version of Dreamgirls, but lost the role to Jennifer Hudson.