Syleena Johnson

Syleena Johnson (born Syleena Thompson, September 2, 1972) is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, actress and talk show co-host.

Syleena Johnson
Johnson in August 2018
Johnson in August 2018
Background information
Born (1972-09-02) September 2, 1972 (age 49)
Harvey, Illinois, United States
OriginChicago, Illinois, United States
GenresR&B, soul
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, actress
Years active1995–present
Associated acts

Personal lifeEdit

Johnson is the daughter of 1960s R&B Hi Records singer Syl Johnson and Brenda Thompson, who was the first black female police commissioner of Harvey, Illinois.[1] Syleena has two older sisters; Syleecia and Sylette. In August 2000,[2] Johnson married former Illinois State University college basketball player Marcus Betts. Betts graduated in December 2000 and became her manager for her first two albums. On July 1, 2007, she married basketball player Kiwane Garris.[3] Garris, a fellow Chicagoan, is a worldwide journeyman basketball player, having played for various NBA and EuroLeague teams. On August 1, 2007,[4] after forty-eight hours of labor, their son Kiwane Garris Jr was born. On Sunday, February 6, 2011, she gave birth to their second son Kingston.[5][6][7][8]

Johnson is a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority.[9]

Music careerEdit

Chapter 2: The Voice was recently[dubious ] voted No. 62 in a list of the best Soul Albums of the 2000s.[10] Mojo, in its February 2003 issue also gave "Chapter 2: The Voice" a glowing review – "...A coherent and engaging R&B album that explores love's vicissitudes with a confessional candour...Classy..."[11]

In 2004, Johnson featured as a vocalist on Kanye West's single "All Falls Down", which was also released on his debut album The College Dropout.

2005–2008: Chapter 3: The FleshEdit

In 2005, Johnson released Chapter 3: The Flesh. Contact Music gave Chapter 3: The Flesh a phenomenal 5/5 review, stating "Third album for Jive from probably the most under-rated artist in the world is just what you expect from an artist of this quality... Quite simply for sheer quality this is one of the albums of the year."[12]

2008–2009: I Am Your Woman: The Best of Syleena Johnson and Chapter 4: Labor PainsEdit

Chapter 4: Labor Pains was released on January 13, 2009.[13]

In 2009, Johnson appeared on a single with KRS-One, Twista and Crucial Conflict entitled "Self Destruction". According to Grant Parks and Coalmine Music, artists lent their lyrics for a cause they believe in with the statement "The time is now as we approach the holidays and a new year; it will give us all something to think about and reflect on loved ones that lost their life to senseless violent acts."[14]

Steve Jones of USA Today gave Chapter 4: Labor Pains 3.5/4 stating "Despite critical acclaim for her ongoing personal chronicles that began with 2001's Chapter 1: Love, Pain & Forgiveness, the soulful Chicago native never found a mainstream niche. Unfairly, she's best known for Kanye West's All Falls Down. Here, with her gorgeous voice and evocative storytelling, she continues to offer some of the decade's most stirring R&B."[15]

2012–2014: R&B Divas: Atlanta, 9ine and Chapter 6: Couples TherapyEdit

Johnson starred in TV One reality series R&B Divas: Atlanta from 2012 to 2014; lasting three seasons. She is currently managed by DYG Management.[16] September 23, 2013, Johnson and Musiq Soulchild released a duet album with entitled 9ine.[17]

2015–present: Graduation, Rebirth of Soul and WomanEdit

In June 2015, Johnson graduated from Drake University where she received her bachelor's degree in nutrition science, summa cum laude, 21 years after she enrolled. She was also inducted into the Alpha Beta Kappa honors society for her academic achievements.[18]

Released in August 2021, she was featured on "Donda Chant", the opening track to Kanye West's tenth album Donda.


Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award
2001 Billboard Music Video Award nomination for Best Adult Contemporary New Artist Clip of the Year ("I Am Your Woman").
2004 BET Award nomination for Viewers Choice Award for "All Falls Down" (shared nomination with Kanye West).[19]
Vibe Award nomination for Reelest Video for "All Falls Down" (shared nomination with Kanye West).[20]
MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Breakthrough Video for "All Falls Down" (shared nomination with Kanye West).
MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Male Video for "All Falls Down" (shared nomination with Kanye West).
MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best New Artist for "All Falls Down" (shared nomination with Kanye West).
MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Hip-Hop Video for "All Falls Down" (shared nomination with Kanye West).
2005 Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "All Falls Down"
Chicago Music Award win for Best Female Vocalist[citation needed]
Truth Award win for Top Single for "Hypnotic"[21]
2014 Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Album (R&B Divas)


  1. ^ Lisa Capretto (July 29, 2013). "Iyanla Vanzant Confronts Brenda Thompson, A Mom Who Admits To Calling Her Daughters Names (VIDEO)". HuffPost.
  2. ^ " – CBSi". Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  3. ^ "Blogger". Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  4. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Johnson, Syleena. "Hey Syleegions this is Syleena's asst @Robbinmykia again she wanted me to show you Kingston..." Twitter. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 10, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Instagram post by Syleena • Feb 6, 2017 at 12:45pm UTC". Instagram. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  8. ^ Johnson, Syleena. "Attn Syleegions this is Syleena's asst KINGSTON IS HERE!! 8lbs 5oz". Twitter. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ "The Greatest Albums of the 2000s – Final Results! | SoulTracks – Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews". SoulTracks. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  11. ^ [3][dead link]
  12. ^ "Syleena Johnson | Chapter 3: The Flesh Album Review". Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 17, 2008. Retrieved June 25, 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "News | Syleena Johnson Teams With KRS One For Stop The Violence Single". December 2, 2008. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  15. ^ Gundersen, Edna; Gardner, Elysa; Jones, Steve; Mansfield, Brian (January 19, 2009). "Listen Up: Rock meets newgrass in 'Fiction Family'". USA Today. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  16. ^ "Clients". Archived from the original on May 29, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  17. ^ "9Ine by Musiq Soulchild on Apple Music". September 24, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  18. ^ Wells, Veronica (June 8, 2015). "Be Inspired! Syleena Johnson Graduates College 21 Years After She Enrolled". Madame Noire. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  19. ^ [4]
  20. ^ "Vibe Awards". November 10, 2007. Archived from the original on November 10, 2007. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  21. ^ [5]

External linksEdit