Who is Miki Howard?

American actress and singer Alicia Michelle ‘Miki’ Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois USA, on 30 September 1960, so her zodiac sign’s Libra. She was highly popular in the mid-‘80s and the first half of the ‘90s, mostly for her hit songs “Baby, Be Mine”, “Love Under New Management”, and “Come Share My Love”, all of which topped the US Billboard Top R&B Singles chart.

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Education and early life

Miki and her two sisters were raised in Chicago by their father Clay Graham and mother Josephine Howard; Clay was a gospel singer and member of the group The Pilgrim Jubilees, and Josephine was also a gospel singer, and member of The Caravans. Josephine was 41 when she died in 1978, and Clay was 82 when he passed away in 2018; both Miki’s sisters have also died.

She grew up surrounded by celebrities, and her mother had taken her to the homes of many famous singers, including Mavis Staples and Aretha Franklin. Miki was nine when she moved to Los Angeles, California with her family, where she then had an opportunity to meet famous singers Billie Holiday, Billy Preston and Shirley Caesar, amongst many others.

She spent a lot of time during her teenage years at the night club Maverick’s Flat, at which she fell in love with bands Earth, Wind & Fire, Chaka Khan, and Rufus; it was then that Miki decided she would become a professional singer.

She matriculated from a local high school in 1979, then didn’t attend college.

Career as a singer

Miki was 16 when she entered a teen pageant, and was after the show introduced to American singer Augie Johnson, who was the frontman of the disco and jazz-funk band Side Effect. In 1979 aged 18, Miki became the band’s vocalist, and their sixth album (first with Miki) “After the Rain” was released in 1980; neither this nor their following albums “Portraits” and “All Aboard” were successful, so in 1985, Miki felt that she was ready for a solo career, and so left Side Effect.

Her debut album “Come Share My Love” came out in 1986, and peaked at #19 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart; the album’s eponymous single became a hit, reaching #5 on the R&B Singles chart. Her second album – “Love Confessions” – was released in November 1987, spawning hits “Baby, Be Mine” and “That’s What Love Is”.

Her third, self-titled album came out in November 1989, and peaked at #4 on Billboard Top R&B Albums; it spawned hits “Just The Way You Want Me To”, “Mister” and “I’ll Be Your Shoulder”. The album’s most successful song – “Ain’t Nuthin’ in the World” – became Miki’s first single to top the R&B Singles chart.

Her fourth album “Femme Fatale” was released on 15 September 1992, and was followed by her fifth “Miki Sings Billie” in December 1993, and sixth “Can’t Count Me Out” in 1997. Miki spent four years working on her seventh album, “Three Wishes”, which was released in March 2001; it was nominated for a 2002 Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album.

Her following album “Pillow Talk” came out on 19 September 2006, while her ninth album “Private Collection” was released in 2008. Miki then revealed that she’d be taking some time off to spend with her family. Her following and most recent album “I Choose to Be Happy” was released in 2015, but since then has had several acting credits.

Acting credits

Miki’s debut film role was her playing of a supporting character in the evergreen 1992 biographical historical movie “Malcolm X”, which Spike Lee directed, and which starred Delroy Lindo, Angela Bassett and Denzel Washington. It follows the life of Black Nationalist leader Malcolm X, and the movie won 20 of its 46 award nominations, including two Oscar nominations for Best Costume Designer and Best Actor in a Leading Role (Denzel Washington).

In 1993, Miki portrayed Maxine in the romantic movie “Poetic Justice”, which starred Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song.

Her following role came in 2010, when cast to play Maybelle in the drama movie “April’s Fools”, and Miki’s since appeared in only two movies and a single TV series: she starred in the 2011 short music video “Know Your Name”, played Friend in the 2019 episode “Jemeker Thompson” of the crime series “American Gangster: Trap Queens”, and Gladys Knight in the 2021 biographical movie “Untold: The Back & Forth Story”.

Love life and husband

Miki began dating Augie Johnson not long after having met him, and in 1981, she gave birth to their son Brandon Howard; their second son Nicholas Johnson followed in 1984.

In 1987, Miki met the late American singer-songwriter Gerald Edward Levert, and they began dating; she toured with his R&B vocal group LeVert in 1988, and motivated by their love, Miki wrote the songs “Just the Way You Want Me To” and “I’ll Be Your Shoulder”, both of which became hits.

She married non-celebrity American man Eddie Phelps in 1989, but they divorced in 1996; Miki and Eddie have a daughter Kaitlyn together.

Miki hasn’t spoken about her other relationships, and seems to be single as of January 2023; she was once married to Eddie Phelps, with whom she has a daughter, while she also has two sons with former boyfriend Augie Johnson.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Miki’s followed by over 150,000 people on Instagram, and has posted more than 5,700 pictures onto the social media network.

She loves art, especially architecture and painting.

Miki’s career’s taken her to almost all the US states, and she’s also vacationed in South America and Europe on multiple occasions; her favorite city to travel to is Lyon, France.

She’s an advocate for gun control.

Miki’s favorite animals are donkeys and elephants.

Her favorite actors are Johnny Depp and Nicolas Cage, and some of her favorite movies include “Edward Scissorhands”, “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” and “The Professor”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Miki’s age is 62. Her eyes are brown and she has long black hair, she’s 5ft 5ins (1.64m) tall and weighs about 135lbs (62kgs).

Miki’s net worth’s been estimated at more than $1.5 million, as of January 2023.

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