Offering a throwback sound to complement her rich voice, Melanie Fiona
is a Grammy-winning R&B artist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Born Melanie Hall, the singer grew up in inner-city Toronto to Guyanese parents. Fiona
developed a passion for music at an early age, influenced by groups and artists such as the Ronettes
and Whitney Houston
. Though she has been active as a performer since 2002 -- she was a member of the groups X-Quisite and the Renaissance, the latter of which featured Drake -- her first recording didn't arrive until 2008. "Somebody Come Get Me," a reggae single issued under the alias Syren Hall on the Black Chiney label, was featured on the Reggae Gold 2008
compilation, and it helped her get signed to Universal Motown. The same year, she was an opening act on Kanye West
's European tour, which was especially notable because she had yet to release an album.
In 2009, Fiona
released her debut single, "Give It to Me Right," which sampled "Time of the Season" by the Zombies
years before Miguel referred to it. Fiona
's melismatic and dynamic vocal propelled the single to the Top 20 on the Canadian Hot 100, in addition to a placement on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart. Her debut album, The Bridge
, was released in May 2009, and went Top Five R&B/Hip-Hop. Its greatest success was the follow-up to "Give It to Me Right," "It Kills Me," which topped the R&B chart and earned Fiona
her first Grammy nomination. Subsequent collaborations included a featured role on John Legend and the Roots' update of "Wake Up Everybody" (which was nominated for a Grammy) and a co-written duet with Cee Lo Green, "Fool for You" (which was nominated for two Grammy Awards and won one of them). Fiona
's second album, The MF Life, was released in March 2012. It debuted in the Top Ten of the Billboard 200, highlighted by the RIAA-certified gold single "4 AM," one of the era's best ballads. "Gone and Never Coming Back," another song of heartache, won a Juno Award. Her third album, Awake, was scheduled for 2015.