Happy Birthday Stephanie Mills!

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Stephanie Mills

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

[lastfm]Stephanie Mills[/lastfm] (born March 22, 1957) is an American Grammy Award-winning R&B and soul singer, a former Broadway star, and was originally given the title as “the little girl with the big voice.”

She was romantically involved with [lastfm]Michael Jackson[/lastfm] for a short period of time while she was doing The Wiz. She was married briefly (18 months) to Jeffrey Daniel from the soul group [lastfm]Shalamar[/lastfm]. Her second marriage to Dino Meminger didn’t last long. Stephanie was also married to a Charlotte, NC radio program manager, Michael Saunders in the 1990s.

Mills began her career appearing in her first play at the age of 9. Two years later, Mills won Amateur Night at the world-famous Apollo Theater a record six times. The victory lead to her being cast in her first Broadway role, the orphaned child of a runaway slave in the short-lived musical Maggie Flynn.

When signed under the 20th Century Fox record label, Mills found her breakthrough in disco music, recording now-classic danceable songs such as “Put Your Body In It,” “You Can Get Over,” and “What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin’.” The album, What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin, was Mills’ first gold record. She quickly followed the success with 1980’s Sweet Sensation, which featured Mills’ biggest hit to date, “Never Knew Love Like This Before”. The single became a #12 R&B and #6 Pop hit in 1980, even reaching #4 in the UK., 1981’s “Stephanie” featured a top hit for her and [lastfm]Teddy Pendergrass[/lastfm] entitled “Two Hearts.” Success for Mills had peaked until 1985, when her version of the Angela Winbush-penned “I Have Learned to Respect the Power of Love,” hit #1 on the R&B singles chart.

MARCH 22nd OTHER CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS:

Actress Kellie Williams (Family Matters) 34

Actress Reese Witherspoon 34

Rapper [lastfm]Mims[/lastfm] 29

Singer-guitarist [lastfm]George Benson[/lastfm] 67

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