Faith Evans

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About Faith Evans

Faith Evans became the glamorous first lady of pop-infused R&B before she was 23 years old, thanks to a meteoric rise in the charts—and her brief, troubled marriage to The Notorious B.I.G. Born in Lakeland, FL, in 1973 and raised in New Jersey, Evans was a preternaturally talented singer/songwriter blessed with a buttery soprano and natural elegance. As a teen, she sang in a gospel group and was a straight-A student who won a scholarship to Fordham University. But music’s pull was too strong: She dropped out within a year and moved to Los Angeles, where she started writing songs and singing backup for Mary J. Blige, Usher, and Al B. Sure!, co-writing six songs on Usher’s stellar 1994 debut. That year, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs signed her to Bad Boy Records—as its first female signee—and she co-wrote many of the label’s early hits. Soon after, Evans met Christopher Wallace; they were married just eight days later. In 1995 she stepped into the limelight with her debut album, Faith, which effortlessly straddled pop, hip-hop, and R&B with hit singles including the sinuous “You Used to Love Me.” After Biggie’s murder in 1997, she co-penned the chart-topping anthem to him “I’ll Be Missing You.” Evans soared again the next year with Keep the Faith and the rapturous “Love Like This,” which curls around a funky, repeating sample from Chic’s “Chic Cheer.” She has maintained a steady presence on the charts since, releasing gorgeous, timeless R&B. In 2017, she took a gamble by duetting with recordings of her late husband’s rhymes on the album The King & I, which included a guest spot by onetime rival (and former Biggie lover) Lil’ Kim—a classy move from an enduring diva.

Lakeland, FL, United States
June 10, 1973
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