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Also Known As: Mya Marie Harrison, Mya Harrison Died:
Born: October 10, 1979 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: United States Profession: dancer, singer, songwriter, choreographer, actor, clothing designer, musician

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A Grammy-winning singer and supporting film player, multi-talented Mya arrived at those high-profile fields after having already earned acclaim as a dancer during her teens. She born Mya Marie Harrison on Oct. 10, 1979, and raised in a suburb of Washington, DC, where she started dance lessons at four years old and joined the dance troupe, T.W.A. (Tappers With Attitude) at age 10. While attending a workshop with renowned choreographer Savion Glover, Mya was invited to study at the Dance Theater of Harlem, where her ability for improvisation so impressed Glover that he showcased the 14-year-old in a solo performance at the Kennedy Center. As Mya's professional dance resume grew with appearances on the BET talk show "Teen Summit" (BET, 1989-2002), she began to explore her vocal skills and, under the supervision of her musician father, recorded a demo that landed her a record deal with Interscope Records at age 17. Her debut album, Mya (1998) sold 1.5 million copies and launched the top ten single, "It's All About Me," a duet with R&B artist Sisqo. She was tapped by hip-hopper Pras to appear on the Grammy-nominated hit single "Ghetto Superstar," while "Take Me There," recorded with Puff Daddy sidekick...

A Grammy-winning singer and supporting film player, multi-talented Mya arrived at those high-profile fields after having already earned acclaim as a dancer during her teens. She born Mya Marie Harrison on Oct. 10, 1979, and raised in a suburb of Washington, DC, where she started dance lessons at four years old and joined the dance troupe, T.W.A. (Tappers With Attitude) at age 10. While attending a workshop with renowned choreographer Savion Glover, Mya was invited to study at the Dance Theater of Harlem, where her ability for improvisation so impressed Glover that he showcased the 14-year-old in a solo performance at the Kennedy Center. As Mya's professional dance resume grew with appearances on the BET talk show "Teen Summit" (BET, 1989-2002), she began to explore her vocal skills and, under the supervision of her musician father, recorded a demo that landed her a record deal with Interscope Records at age 17. Her debut album, Mya (1998) sold 1.5 million copies and launched the top ten single, "It's All About Me," a duet with R&B artist Sisqo. She was tapped by hip-hopper Pras to appear on the Grammy-nominated hit single "Ghetto Superstar," while "Take Me There," recorded with Puff Daddy sidekick Mase, was used on the soundtrack for the animated "Rugrats Movie" (1998). The hot newcomer appeared onscreen herself that year "In Too Deep" (1999), a gangsta thriller starring Omar Epps and L.L. Cool J.

Maya's second studio effort, Fear of Flying (2000), earned her an R&B/Soul Album nomination from the Soul Train Music Awards and the dance-oriented single "Case of the Ex" hit number two on the Billboard charts. That hit was eclipsed the following year when Mya teamed with Pink, Lil' Kim and Christina Aguilera to re-remake the 1970s disco hit "Lady Marmalade" for the soundtrack of Baz Luhrman's "Moulin Rouge" (2001). One of the most popular singles of the year with sales of over five million, "Lady Marmalade" won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for all three singers. The following year, Mya gave a strong song and dance performance in the Cell Block Tango dance sequence in the Oscar-winning musical, "Chicago" (2002). Her third album, Moodring (2003), debuted at No. 3 on the charts, while Mya's acting career picked up with television guest appearances on "The Wayne Brady Show" (ABC, 2000-02) and "Missing" (Lifetime, 2003-06) as well as supporting film roles in "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights" (2004), "Shall We Dance?" (2004) and "Cursed" (2004), Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson's youth-oriented werewolf thriller. Following a bumpy transition between management and record labels, Mya's 2007 album Sugar and Spice was released in Japan only, while her starring role in the direct-to-DVD romantic comedy "Love for Sale" (2008) and her appearance as a contestant on the reality talent show "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 2004-) marked a change in career paths.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Cover (2008)
3.
 How She Move (2007)
4.
 Cursed (2005) Cast
5.
 Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004) Lola Martinez
6.
 Shall We Dance (2004)
7.
 Volcano High (2003)
8.
 In Too Deep (1999) Loretta
9.
 Disco Ball, The (2003) Featuring
10.
 3rd Annual BET Awards (2003) Featuring
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Took ballet lessons from the age of two and jazz and tap from the age of four
:
Began taking violin lessons in the fourth grade
:
At age 13, joined the group Tappers With Attitude
1996:
Appeared as a hip-hop dancer on the TV show "Teen Summit" on the BET Network
:
Signed by Interscope records at age 17
:
Released self-titled, debut album, <i>Mýa</i>; her first hit single "It's All About Me" was a duet with Sisqo
1998:
Collaborated with Ol' Dirty Bastard on Pras' hit, "Ghetto Superstar"; was featured on the "Bulworth" soundtrack
1999:
Made acting debut in the film "In Too Deep," starring LL Cool J and Omar Epps
2000:
Released second album, <i>Fear of Flying</i>, which featured collaborations with Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopez, Wyclef Jean, and Swizz Beatz
2001:
Collaborated with Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim and Pink on a remake of Labelle's "Lady Marmalade" for the "Moulin Rouge!" soundtrack
2002:
Co-starred in the Academy Award-winning film, "Chicago," as a murderess named Mona in the Cell Block Tango dance number
2003:
Released her third studio album, <i>Moodring</i>
2004:
Had supporting roles in "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights" and "Shall We Dance?"
2005:
Left her management and A&M Records and signed with Motown Records
2005:
Joined the cast of Wes Craven's "Cursed"
2007:
Played an AIDS victim in the small independent film, "Cover"
2008:
Left Motown and singed with the Japanese label, Manhattan Records; released her fifth studio album, <i>Sugar & Spice</i>
2009:
Joined the ninth season of ABC's reality series "Dancing with the Stars" as a competitor
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Maryland: College Park , Maryland -
Eleanor Roosevelt High School: Greenbelt , Maryland - 1996

Notes

She was reportedly named after poet-actor Maya Angelou.

"I'm really quiet and reserved most of the time. When it's time for me to do my thing onstage, I just go for it. But in other settings, I don't feel very comfortable with being very outgoing."---Mya quoted in Jane Magazine, May 2000.

"I can't help but feel as though I'm contradicting myself when I pose for pictures showing skin, looking sexy. But while I dress this way for photos because I want to be that diva, I feel obliged to tell young girls not to get caught up in images. I don't want girls to think they have to dress like this to qualify as young women."---Mya in "My, Oh Mya" from Honey, June/July 2000.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Sherman Harrison. Musician, singer. African-American; divorced from Mya's mother c. 1998.
mother:
Theresa Harrison. Accountant. Of Italian-American descent; divorced from Mya's father c. 1998.
brother:
Chad Harrison. Born c. 1982.
brother:
Nigel Harrison. Born c. 1990.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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