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Faith Evans was born Faith Renee Evans in Lakeland, Florida on June 10, 1973. Her mother was a professional singer and her father was a musician as well. She was raised by her mother; her father left before she was even born. When Faith was born, her mother was just nineteen and decided to return to New Jersey where she left Faith to stay with her cousin Johnnie Mae, her husband Orvelt Kennedy, and the in-and-out foster children they raised while Faith stayed with them. When Faith’s mother established her career, she tried to take Faith back but Faith decided to stay with her cousin, causing her mother to move next door to them.
Evans was raised in a Christian home and started attending church at two. Evans found her passion in singing when she was only four years old when she sang “Let the Sunshine In” at church. When Evans started high school in Newark, she joined jazz bands and entered pageants, festivals, and contests to show off her amazing talent. When she graduated high school, she went to Fordham University for Marketing and a year later welcomed her daughter, Chyna. A few months after becoming a mother, she moved to Los Angeles, working as a backup vocalist for singer Al B. Eventually she was introduced to Sean Combs. Combs immediately put her on his label at the first female artist to Bad Boy Entertainment.
Once she was officially apart of Bad Boy, she started to back up vocals for Mary J. Blige’s “My Life” and Usher’s first album, then started to work on her first album, Faith. When Faith was released August 29, 1995, it became an instant success because of singles like ”You Used to Love Me” and “Soon as I Get Home”. It went certified Platinum and sold 1,500,000 copies.
After meeting The Notorious B.I.G at a photo shoot, the two got married on August 4, 1994. They welcomed their first and only child Christopher Wallace Jr. on October 29, 1996. During their marriage, B.I.G had numerous affairs with other artist including Lil’ Kim and Charli Baltimore. Their marriage also put Evans right in the middle of the East Coast-West Coast feud and when B.I.G was murdered in 1997. Before his death, Evans met Todd Russaw. After B.I.G’s death and their separation was finalized, Evans started dating Russaw, had their first son Joshua on June 8, 1998 and got married on March 22 of that same year. When “I’ll Be Missing You” was released, it went worldwide and was a hit, winning a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. The next year she received two Grammy nominations for “Heartbreak Hotel” with Whitney Houston and Kelly Price.
Evans came out with her second album Keep the Faith in October of 1998. The whole was almost written and produced by her, and received a lot of praise and success. Eventually it went platinum and promoted her start to an 18-city tour with Dru Hill and Total.
When she released Faithfully in 2001, it was #14 on billboards and #2 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and went certified platinum. Evans was trying to decide which record label to move on to. She left Bad Boy and moved on to Arista Records and then eventually moved to Universal. She left Bad Boy because she believed her last album did not receive the attention it deserve in order to become a success. In 2004, Evans received her first arrest with husband Russaw for marijuana and cocaine in Atlanta, Georgia. When her contract with Bad Boy ended, she joined Capitol Records and started working on her fourth album The First Lady. It was released in April 2005 and scored #2 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and eventually was certified Gold.
After that album, Evans was on hiatus; during that time she signed a deal with E1 Entertainment in 2010 and released her sixth album Something About Faith on October fifth. It reached #15 on the Billboard 200 chart and number on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Album chart. In May 2011, Evans and Russaw announced they were getting a divorce. Throughout her troubles, Evans continues to impress her fans through her soulful, truthful, music.