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BiographyShanice Wilson-Knox was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 14, 1973. As a toddler, Shanice's potential to be a talented singer became apparent when she tried singing "Tell Me Something Good" by Chaka Khan at the tender age of only seven months old. That kind of gift is not surprising since her mother Crystal is also fine singer who has performed with noted artists such as Luther Vandross and Jennifer Holiday. In no time at all, Shanice started performing on stage with her mother and Aunt Penni.
After her parents got divorced, Shanice moved with her mother to Los Angles, California in 1980 and after obtaining a commercial agent, she started appearing in commercial spots for Colgate Toothpaste & 7-Eleven. Shanice also sang in a commercial for Kentucky Fried Chicken alongside legendary jazz singer, Ella Fitzgerald. While performing in a musical titled "Get Happy," Shanice caught the attention of John McClain from A&M Records and was signed to her first recording contract at only eleven years old. Shanice also performed on the television show Star Search and won $5,000.
In 1987, A&M Records released Shanice's first album "Discovery" which contained nine tracks produced by singer/sonwriter and musician Bryan Loren(who had worked with Sting, Rose Royce and Vesta). A total of four singles were released from this album with the song "(Baby Tell Me) Can You Dance" peaking at #6 on the Billboard R&B Charts and #50 on the Pop and Charts. The single "No 1/2 Steppin'" also peaked at #6 on the Billboard R&B Charts. One stand-out track which was not released as a single was an emotional ballad titled "Just A Game" which was remade by R&B & Jazz singer Will Downing on his 1995 "Moods" album.
Shanice left A&M Records and was signed to Motown by the label President Jheryl Busby in 1989. Busby suggested that Shanice work with Narada Michael Walden(who had scored hits with singers like Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and Stacy Lattisaw) on what would be her "Inner Child" album. In late October of 1991, the single "I Love Your Smile" was released by Motown and would end up peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts and #1 on the Billboard R&B Charts. Shanice was also nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Female Vocalist.
In 1992, Shanice lent her vocal talents on "Don't Wanna Love You" for the Boomerang movie soundtrack and on "Saving Forever For You" for the Beverly Hills 90210 TV soundtrack. "Saving Forever For You peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The following year Shanice would also record a song for the "Meteor Man" movie soundtrack. She also made an appearance in an episode of the TV sitcom "Family Matters" as herself.
On what would become Shanice's final album for Motown Records, "21...Ways To Grow" was released in 1994 and featured singles such as "Somewhere,"(#28 on the Billboard R&B Charts), "Turn Down The Lights"(#21 on the Billboard R&B Charts), "I Wish," and "I Like." Shanice recorded two more songs that were released in 1995 such as "If I Were Your Woman" for the Panther movie soundtrack and "If I Never Knew You" which was a duet with Jon Secada. In the same year, Shanice returned to the stage in the Broadway musical "Les Miserable" and was the first African American woman to portray Eponine.
After a hiatus, Shanice signed with LaFace Records and began work on her fourth album self-titled "Shanice" which contained twelve tracks. The first single "When I Close My Eyes" was released to radio in December of 1998 but oddly was not released commercially to stores until March of 1999. "When I Close My Eyes" would break a record that would last for several years when it made a gigantic leap on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts from #91 to #16 in one week. The followup single "Yesterday" was released to radio shortly after and had great potential as a crossover hit. Unfortunately, the single was abruptly cancelled. The final single "You Need A Man" was released commercially to stores on September 9, 1999 but it stalled at #53 on the Billboard R&B Charts. As a whole, the album was perfect and flawless but due to lackluster support and incompetence on the part of LaFace Records, it didn't reach its full potential.
In 2000, Shanice married comedian/actor Flex Alexander and they now have two children, a daughter named Imani and a son named Elijah. After parting ways with LaFace, Shanice started her own label, Imajah Records which is named after both of her children and released her fifth studio album, "Every Woman Dreams" in 2006 as an independent artist. The first single and album title track "Every Woman Dreams" peaked at #62 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart. The second and final single released off of the album was "Take Care Of U" which peaked at #72 on the Billboard Hot R&B Charts.
On May 31, 2014, a sneak preview episode of Flex & Shanice aired on OWN(Oprah Winfrey Network)and due to the positive response to its debut the show was eventually picked up for a full 8-episode season run which began on November 1, 2014 and ended on December 20, 2014. The show just completed its third season run. The series follows the lives and careers of Flex Alexander and wife Shanice as they bounce back from bankruptcy and work on reviving their careers while juggling parenting their two children Imani & Elijah and living in a crowded house of nine people. Among the family members living with Flex & Shanice include, daughter Imani & son Elijah, Shanice's mother Crystal and stepfather Mike, Shanice Uncle Spirit, Flex's cousin Ed, and Shanice's cousin Ruba. Since the first season, Shanice has released three new songs online: "We Can Fly," "Gotta Blame Me" & "Another Lonely Day In California."