Dionne Farris born Dionne Yvette Farris is an American, singer, songwriter, producer, and actress. She rose to fame with the release of her debut album, Wild Seed-Wild Flower (1994) on Columbia Records. She began singing in elementary school and competed in pageants as a teenager. In the early 1990s, she was featured on the hip hop group Arrested Development (1992) hit single “Tennessee”.
The album Wild Seed-Wild Flower was featured the Top 40 single, “I Know” (1995). Still, in that year, the video earned Farris the Billboard Music Video Awards Best Pop/Rock New Artist Clip of the Year. She was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (1996).
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Farris broke into the music biz contributing her vocals to alternative hip hop group Arrested Development’s hit song “Tennessee,” according to her bio on Billboard‘s website. But soon enough, Farris broke ties with the group and embarked on her solo career. She was signed by Columbia Records and released her debut album, Wild Seed – Wild Flower in 1994. The album was co-produced by Farris, Michael Simanga, and future American Idol judge Randy Jackson, according to PopMatters.
And on her debut album was Farris’ biggest hit of her career so far, “I Know,” which stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 38 weeks, reaching a peak of No.4. Farris also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for this tune in 1996. If the ’90s could be described in one song, “I Know” would basically be it. Good luck getting this earworm out of your head anytime soon!
After Farris left Columbia, she decided to quit major labels and do music completely her way in 2008 when she started her own record label, Free & Clear Records. “I don’t want any parts of the traditional experience of the music industry”, she said during an interview with PopMatters in 2009. “What I would like to do with Free and Clear records is help promote other artists who have talent but also put them up on game and make sure they know their business and know what the business is … and be fair about it.” The first artist Farris signed to the label was herself, and she released the company’s first album, Signs of Life, in 2008.
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