Shanice Lorraine Wilson-Knox (born May 14, 1973), better known as Shanice, is a Grammy-nominated American R&B/pop-rock singer, songwriter, and actress. She had the Top 10 Billboard hit singles "I Love Your Smile" and "Silent Prayer" in 1991 and "Saving Forever for You" in 1993. In 1999, Shanice scored another hit song, "When I Close My Eyes", which peaked at #12 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. She is recognised for her coloratura soprano voice and her ability to sing in the whistle register.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Wilson relocated to Los Angeles with her mother and aunt (Crystal and Penny) who were themselves interested in pursuing careers in the music industry. They soon abandoned their aspirations of stardom, instead focusing their efforts on young Shanice; forming the management company Krystal Penny to cultivate and promote her talents. At age 9, Shanice appeared in a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial with the legendary jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald. In 1984, she appeared as a regular in season 1, episodes 1-14 of the children's programme Kids Incorporated and was replaced by Carletta Prince in season 1, episode 15 of this show. At age 11, Shanice competed on Star Search. Shortly after her appearance on Star Search, she was signed to A&M Records.
The given name "Shanice", an ad-hoc combination of the name elements Shan- and -ice, first enters the official statistics of most popular given names in the United States in 1988, i.e. in the year after the singer's debut album; its popularity peaked in 1992, at rank 162 of most popularly given girls' names, and again declined below rank 1000 by the year 2000.
In 1987, at the age of 14, A&M Records released her debut album, Discovery. It produced two top-ten R&B hits, "(Baby Tell Me) Can You Dance" and "No ½ Steppin'". Wilson went on to sign a deal with Motown Records in the summer of 1990, releasing Inner Child in late 1991, which included her best-known hit single "I Love Your Smile". It reached the top ten in 22 countries, including the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album additionally featured a cover of Minnie Riperton's 1974 hit "Lovin' You", a rendition that brought attention to her five-octave vocal range.
After Inner Child, Wilson continued to record albums, including 1994's 21… Ways to Grow with producer Rhett Lawrence a Los Angeles session musician and Earth Wind & Fire guitarist Dick Smith. This effort was followed by a move to LaFace Records, who released the 1999 album Shanice. While she hasn't achieved significant commercial success with subsequent albums, she has contributed to various film soundtracks, such as Boomerang ("Don't Wanna Love You") and The Meteor Man ("It's for You"). Wilson additionally achieved success with her top-ten hit "Saving Forever for You", from the Beverly Hills 90210 Soundtrack. She additionally recorded "If I Never Knew You", a duet with Jon Secada, for the original soundtrack of Disney's 1995 film Pocahontas.
Shanice occasionally does background vocals for additional artists; she can be heard on Toni Braxton's "Come on Over Here" and "Un-Break My Heart", as well as Usher's "Bedtime". In 2010 she performed vocals on the track "Behind the Mask", from Michael Jackson's posthumous album Michael. Wilson recorded the song "A Midnight Rendezvous" for the 2012 Kinect game Rhythm Party. She additionally performed the English theme song for the video game The Bouncer, called "Love Is the Gift".
Wilson return to recording after a five-year hiatus and released her fifth studio album Every Woman Dreams on her own label Imajah (named for her two children). The album peaked at #30 on the R&B Albums Chart.
Acting and additional appearances
In addition to singing, Wilson is additionally an actress, first appearing in season five of Family Matters episode "Rock Enroll". She later performed in 1997 on the Broadway stage as the first black performer to star in the role of Eponine in the musical Les Misérables. In 2001 Shanice additionally starred in the made-for-TV movie One Special Moment, an adaptation of Brenda Jackson's 1998 novel of the same name.
On Valentine's Day 2000, Wilson married actor/comedian Flex Alexander. Together, they have two children, daughter Imani Shekinah Knox (born August 23, 2001) and son Elijah Alexander Knox (born March 5, 2004).
- 1987: Discovery
- 1991: Inner Child
- 1994: 21... Ways to Grow
- 1999: Shanice
- 1999: Ultimate Collection
- 2006: Every Woman Dreams
U.S. charting singles
- 1987: "No Half Steppin'"
- 1987: "(Baby Tell Me) Can You Dance"
- 1988: "This Time" (with Kiara)
- 1991: "I Love Your Smile"
- 1991: "I'm Cryin'"
- 1992: "Silent Prayer"
- 1992: "Saving Forever for You"
- 1993: "It's for You"
- 1994: "Somewhere"
- 1994: "Turn Down the Lights"
- 1994: "I Wish"
- 1994: "I Like"
- 1999: "When I Close My Eyes"
- 1999: "Yesterday"
- 1999: "You Need A Man"
- 2000: "Love is the Gift"
- 2001: "Every Woman Dreams"
- 2002: "Take Care of U"
- 2003: "So Sexy"
- 2003: "Chasing Fever"
- 2004: "Tomorrow"
- 2005: "I Got This"
- 2006: "Kryptonite"
- 2014: "Gotta Blame Me"
- 2015: "Another Lonely Day in California"
- 2016: "Breakdown"
- 1993: Golden Lion Award for Best International Artist