Childhood & Early Life
Teyana Taylor was born on December 10, 1990. She is the only child of her mother, while her biological father has two sons and a daughter from another relationship. Teyana was raised by her mother, Nikki Taylor, in Harlem, New York City. According to sources, Nikki is a celebrity stylist. Teyana is of Afro-Trinidadian descent.
Teyana's singing talent was noticed when she was 9. She once picked up a microphone and began performing impromptu in front of the crowd. Teyana never had any fear of performing on stage. Instead, at a tender age, she began participating in several talent competitions, including the 'Apollo Theater National All-Stars' talent search. Though she never won any of them, Teyana never stopped participating in such contests.
Growing up as an aspiring singer, Teyana was highly influenced by celebrities such as Lauryn Hill, Janet Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson.
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Teyana's professional journey began in September 2006. She made her debut as a choreographer in the music video of Beyoncé's hit single 'Ring the Alarm.' The following year, Teyana was signed by recording artist and record producer Pharrell Williams for 'Star Trak Entertainment,' a division of 'Interscope Records.'
The contract earned Teyana her first reality-show appearance. In February 2007, she made a grand entry in a giant ‘Barbie’ doll box in the fourth season of 'My Super Sweet Sixteen.' The 'MTV' series featured lavish birthday parties of rich teenagers. Following this, Taylor was featured in Jay-Z's music video 'Blue Magic.'
In February 2008, Teyana released her debut single, 'Google Me.' The song is the lead single for her debut mixtape, 'From a Planet Called Harlem,' which released on August 16, 2009.
Teyana stepped into acting in August 2010. She was cast as ‘Rena’ in the sequel of 'Stomp the Yard,' 'Stomp the Yard: Homecoming.' Around the same time, Taylor made her second reality-show appearance, in 'House of Glam,' which was aired on 'Oxygen.'
Teyana's music career leaped when she was called to the studio by Kanye West, just hours before the release of his fifth album, 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.' Taylor was summoned to look at some of Kanye's fashion pieces. Though she had known Kanye and the whole 'GOOD Music' family since his 'Glow in the Dark Tour,' their friendship began that day at the studio.
Knowing that collaborating with Kanye could help her, Teyana made a smart move to impress Kanye. She hummed a few tracks to get his attention. Impressed by her skills, Kanye asked her to contribute to his notable tracks, 'Dark Fantasy' and 'Hell of a Life.' Teyana composed the "intro and chorus" of the songs and did a few changes.
Taylor's next collaboration with the label 'GOOD Music' was the single 'Christmas in Harlem' from the album 'GOOD Friday.' Her composition was released as the shortened version of the single, on the 'iTunes Store' on December 17, 2010.
Teyana's next film appearance was in Tyler Perry's play-turned-film 'Madea's Big Happy Family' in 2011. She was then featured on the hook of the single 'Party Tonight.' Toward the beginning of 2012, 'Interscope' and 'Star Trak' announced the termination of their contract with Teyana.
While Teyana was on her way to start her journey as an independent artist, she was working on the launch of her second release, the mixtape titled 'The Misunderstanding of Teyana Taylor.' The 1990s R&B-influenced mixtape was released in the first half of 2012 and bagged positive reviews.
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On June 14, 2012, Teyana moved back to working under a label after she signed a joint-venture contract with 'GOOD Music' and 'The Island Def Jam Music Group.' She made an appearance on the 'GOOD Music' compilation album 'Cruel Summer,' which released on September 18, 2012. The album was associated with Kanye's short film ‘Cruel Summer,’ which premiered at the ‘Cannes Film Festival.’ Her next collaboration with Kanye was for the track 'To the World.'
In 2013, 'Adidas' offered Teyana a contract to design and release two pairs of sneakers. On November 4, 2014, she released her debut studio album under 'GOOD Music' and 'The Island Def Jam Music Group.' Titled 'VII,' the album reached the 19th position on the 'Billboard 200.'
In 2015, Teyana joined the eighth season of 'America's Best Dance Crew' as a judge/ panel member. On August 25 that year, she released her first EP, 'The Cassette Tape 1994.' Teyana had a brief role in the drama film 'Brotherly Love.'
On June 17, 2016, Taylor released 'Freak On,' the lead single from her upcoming second studio album. The following year, she launched a workout program and a fitness apparel line named 'Fade 2 Fit.' Teyana's dance routine in Kanye's music video ‘Fade' had inspired the line.
The music video for Lil Durk's remix of 'Home Body' from 'Signed to the Streets 3' was directed by Teyana. She appeared in the video, too. She had appeared as a celebrity singer named ‘Joyce Sheree’ in three episodes (2017–2018) of the musical drama 'Star.' Teyana was cast as ‘Imani X’ in five episodes of the 2017 TV series 'The Breaks.'
In February 2018, Teyana ventured into TV production, with the reality series 'Teyana and Iman.' She and her husband served as the executive producers of the show. Its first episode was aired in March that year. The eight-episode series documented Teyana and her husband's personal and public lives. Recently, Teyana hinted at starting her next reality series.
On June 22, 2018, Taylor released her second studio album, 'K.T.S.E.' ('keep that same energy'). The same year, she played a stripper named ‘Bl'asia’ in the 'Netflix' movie 'The After Party.' Teyana played ‘Skyler,’ the lead, in the sequel of the 2003 film 'Honey,' 'Honey: Rise Up and Dance' (2018). Her most recent movie appearance was as ‘Sherri’ in the 2019 film 'The Trap.'
Teyana is the brand ambassador for 'CÎROC Peach' vodka. She owns a nail salon in Harlem called 'Junie Bee Nails,' named after her daughter.
Family & Personal Life
Teyana is married to Iman Shumpert, an American professional basketball player who plays for the team 'Houston Rockets.' They welcomed their daughter, Iman "Junie" Tayla Shumpert Jr., in December 2015. The baby was delivered by Iman, her then- fiancé, at their home.
On September 20, 2016, Teyana revealed on 'The Wendy Williams Show' that she had secretly married Iman. However, the statement was later proved to be false, as they both got married approximately 2 weeks after Teyana's appearance on the show, on October 1, 2016.