Mýa Marie Harrison, popularly known as Mýa, is an award-winning recording artist, songwriter, and actress. She has released a total of seven studio albums in her career so far which include 'Mýa', 'Fear of Flying' and 'Smoove Jones'. She has also appeared in several films, such as ‘Shall We Dance’ and ‘Cursed.’ Throughout her career she has won several awards which include a Grammy for her rendition of the hit song 'Lady Marmalade.' She experiments with several different genres of music, such as jazz, rap, techno, and rock. Though some critics have criticized her voice, calling it weak and thin, she has also been complimented by Billboard for having a smooth, sensitive, and angelic tone. She has been inspired by several well-known stars, such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Prince, and Madonna. She has cited Lena Horne, a singer, dancer, and actress, and Lizza Minnelli, an actress and singer, as her role models. Apart from singing and acting, Mýa has endorsed several brands including Coca-Cola, Gap, and Iceberg. She is also known for her charitable works. She created "The Mýa Arts & Tech Foundation" to provide opportunities to disadvantaged youths. She also supports LGBTQ rights and contributes towards animal welfare.
Childhood & Early Life
Mýa Marie Harrison was born in Washington, D.C., in the United States, on 10th October 1979 to Sherman, who was a musician and singer, and Theresa, who worked as an accountant. She has two younger brothers, named Chaz and Nijel.
She started taking both music and dancing lessons at a very early age. However she lost interest after a few years. Later her interest grew again, and she began working on improving her skills. Soon her father noticed her talent and upon realizing that she was serious about pursuing a career in music, he helped her get a record deal with Interscope Records.
After finishing her high school, she attended the University of Maryland, College Park. However, she was still more focused in her musical career.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
After signing with Interscope, Mýa worked on her debut self-titled studio album for the next two years. Her debut single ‘It's All About me’ released on 14th February 1998. It debuted at sixth position on the US Billboard Hot 100.
After two months, on 21st April, her album 'Mýa' was finally released. It peaked at No. 29 on the US Billboard 200. It eventually became one of the best selling albums of the year. It also received mostly positive reviews from critics.
The following year, she began working on her second album. The title ‘Fear of Flying’ was inspired by a 1973 novel by Erica Jong. The album was eventually released in April 2000. Many of the songs in the album were about women empowerment. It peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200, and received mostly mixed reviews. It also became a hit in other countries such as Australia and Switzerland.
She made her film debut in the 1999 American crime thriller 'In Too Deep', where she played a supporting role. Directed by Michael Rymer, the film followed the adventures of an undercover cop named Jeffrey Cole. The movie did well commercially and received mostly mixed reviews.
In 2002, she appeared in the American crime comedy film 'Chicago' where she played the role of a scorned prisoner named Mona. Not only was the film a commercial success, but it also won six Oscars the following year.
Mýa appeared in only a few more films as apparently she was more focused on her musical career. Her third studio album 'Moodring' was released in July 2003. Peaking at the third position on the US Billboard 200, it became the highest charting work of her career so far. It sold 113,000 copies within the first week itself. Reviews were mostly positive.
Over the ensuing years, she released a few more albums which were 'Liberation' (2007), 'Sugar & Spice' (2008) and 'K.I.S.S. (Keep it Sexy & Simple)' (2011). She also released two mixtapes in 2009 named 'Best of Both Worlds' and 'Beauty in the Streets'. Her seventh and latest album 'Smoove Jones' was released in 2016.
Mýa's first significant work in her career was her debut self-titled album which was released in 1998. The album included the hit singles 'It's All About Me', 'Movin' On' and 'My First Night with you'. It peaked at No. 29 on the US Billboard 200. ‘Mýa’ became one of the best selling albums of the year, selling more than a million copies. It also earned nominations for the Soul Train Music Awards and the NAACP Image Awards.
'Moodring', her third studio album which was released in 2003 can be undoubtedly regarded as another one of her most successful works. It debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and sold 113,000 copies in the first week itself. The album received mostly positive reviews from critics. It also managed to enter the charts in Australia, Canada, and Japan.
Awards & Achievements
Mýa has been nominated for a total of 67 awards in her career so far out of which she has won 27. Some of them are the Grammy Award for her performance of the song 'Lady Marmalade' for 'Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals' in 2002 and the 'Broadcast Film Critics Association Award' for Best Acting Ensemble for the film ‘Chicago’ in 2003.
Mýa is currently single but she has dated several men in the past, such as Bryce Wilson and Larry Johnson.
She is also known for her philanthropy. In order to help underprivileged youths, she created her own nonprofit organization, 'The Mýa Arts & Tech Foundation' in 2005..
She is very conscious of her health and practices yoga as she likes to stay in shape.
Her estimated net worth is $4 million.