Childhood & Early Life
Taylor Monét Parks was born on September 16, 1993, in Dallas, Texas, US. Tayla has not revealed much about her parents, early life, or education.
According to sources, during her childhood, Tayla attended the dance academy of Debbie Allen in Dallas, Texas. It was Debbie who motivated her to take up acting and singing. Debbie also got consent from Tayla’s parents and took her to Washington, DC, where the young girl started performing at the ‘Kennedy Center.’
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Tayla started her acting career with bit roles in on-screen productions such as the American comedy–drama series ‘Gilmore Girls’ (2006) and the American period sitcom ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ (2006).
She got her breakthrough with the minor role of ‘Little Inez Stubbs’ in the 2007-released blockbuster hit musical romantic comedy ‘Hairspray.’ The film was based on a ‘Broadway’ musical of the same title and had an ensemble cast, including John Travolta, Christopher Walken, and Michelle Pfeiffer. It not only gained Tayla initial recognition but also fetched her and the cast the ‘Critic's Choice Movie Award’ for the ‘Best Acting Ensemble.’ She also featured in two tracks of the film, ‘You Can't Stop the Beat’ with the cast of the film and ‘Run and Tell That’ with Elijah Kelley.
In 2007, she starred as ‘Angel Turner’ in the short drama ‘Beyond the Pretty Door’ and featured in the film ‘Love... & Other 4 Letter Words.’ She also appeared in the pilot episode of the series ‘Carpoolers.’
From 2009 to 2010, she essayed the role of ‘Shelley’ in three episodes of the ‘Nickelodeon’-aired American teen sitcom ‘True Jackson, VP.’ Meanwhile, in 2010, she appeared as ‘Jill MacIntosh’ in a sixth-season episode of the popular American crime procedural comedy–drama series ‘Bones,’ titled ‘The Twisted Bones in the Melted Truck.’
In 2012, she appeared in a single episode of the American sitcom ‘Victorious.’
Tayla has also made her mark as a voice actor. Since 2012, she has voiced different roles in the ‘Sims Olympus’ video games. She voiced the character ‘Victor Stone’ in the 2015-released direct-to-video animated superhero film ‘Justice League: Gods and Monsters.’ During 2018–2019, she voiced the character ‘Alvin "AJ" Jr.’ in the episodic adventure video game ‘The Walking Dead: The Final Season.’
She appeared in the song ‘Anyway’ by Chris Brown (from his 2015 studio album ‘Royalty’) and also in the track ‘Your Eyes’ by electronic music duo ‘The Knocks’ (from their 2017-released EP ‘Testify.)
Tayla has established herself as a prolific songwriter, writing and co-writing lyrics for several artists and bands. When she was 19, she was signed as a songwriter under ‘Warner Chappell Publishing,’ by Jon Platt.
During the course of her songwriting career, Tayla has contributed to many songs that have gained critical acclaim and have been featured on several charts. Some such tracks are ‘Boss’ (2014) by American girl group ‘Fifth Harmony,’ ‘Infinity’ (2015) by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey, ‘In Common’ (2016) by American singer-songwriter Alicia Keys, and ‘Better’ (2016) by American singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor. She has also written popular tracks for K-pop artists Tao, ‘BTS,’ ‘f(x),’ and ‘Red Velvet.’
Three songs co-written by her, namely, the February 14, 2018-released ‘Love Lies’ by Khalid and Normani, the May 23, 2018-released ‘High Hopes’ by American rock band ‘Panic! at the Disco,’ and the November 3, 2018-released ‘Thank U, Next’ by singer-songwriter and actor Ariana Grande, have earned spots among the top 10 singles on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart.
Meanwhile, on July 7, 2017, she came up with her self-released mixtape ‘Tayla Made.’ She furthered her career as a singer with her first studio album, ‘We Need to Talk,’ released on April 5, 2019, through ‘Atlantic Records.’ It was supported by three tracks: ‘Me vs. Us’ (released on September 14, 2018), ‘Slow Dancing’ (released on October 19, 2018), and ‘I Want You’ (released on March 8, 2019). The album received generally positive reviews from critics.