Soulful singer/songwriter and Maryland native Grenique grew up in a distinctively creative and musical family: her poet mother and percussionist father gave her the name Grenique because her father's name is Greg, and her mother knew she would be unique. They also gave her a thorough background in jazz and soul music, leading her to absorb elements of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Phyllis Hyman, Cameo, and Chaka Khan into her own approach. Grenique began performing with vocal groups as a teen but felt her ideas would work best as a solo artist. Her goal of having a record deal by age 22 in mind, Grenique headed to New York City and met with entertainment attorneys, one of whom introduced her to producer Dahoud Darien. This connection led to meeting Kedar Massenburg, the president of Motown Records, as well as Chico DeBarge; the result was a record deal, the song "Disco" on the Rush Hour soundtrack, and a debut album, 1999's Black Butterfly. ~ Heather Phares

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