In 1998, songbird Tamia took the music industry by storm with her angelic voice that can tackle anything from R&B, neo-soul, gospel, jazz, and hip hop. America’s soundtrack wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Tamia’s contributions. This year, Tamia is celebrating some career milestones including her 20th anniversary in the industry, her hit single “So Into You” turned 20 years old, and she released her 7th album, Passion Like Fire. On her website, the singer talks about how her musical anniversary is still inspiring her. “After 20 years I continue to be inspired by the places I visit and the people I meet, which allows me to include a piece of my experiences in the art I create.”

Tamia Rising Star

Tamia’s first big break came when she collaborated with the legendary Quincy Jones on the Q’s Jook Joint album in 1998 with the hit single, “You Put a Move on My Heart.”

Following the success of that album, she released her self-titled debut album, which earned her two GRAMMY nominations, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “You’ve Put A Move On My Heart;” Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group with Vocal for “Slow Jams” featuring Babyface, and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for her work with Brandy, Gladys Knight and Chaka Khan on the single “Missing You” from the Set It Off movie soundtrack.

In an interview with the L.A. Times, Tamia noted that she loves seeing just how timeless the song “So Into You” is 20 years later with newer artists performing covers.

“I’ve loved seeing other artists perform it over the years. Childish Gambino did a cover. I just saw Kehlani perform it and she’s only 23. It’s like the people playing my stuff back when “You Put a Move on My Heart” came out and the first album, now their kids are listening to it too. I’m not that old myself, so it’s a pretty amazing feeling to know that you have a song that has stood the test of time,” she told the L.A. Times.

Hitting Her Stride and Influencing Music Culture

In early 2000, Tamia kept hitting her stride by winning an NAACP Image Award for her classic hit “Spend My Life with You” with R&B singer Eric Benet. The song was also nominated for a GRAMMY.

Tamia’s fifth studio album Beautiful Surprise garnered two more GRAMMY nominations in 2013. On the album the singer explored a multitude of genres showcasing her artist creativity. Her 2015 album Love Life is her highest charting album to date, reaching the top of the Billboard R&B chart.

Tamia is also the founder of her own label, Plus 1 Music Group and has released her albums Between Friends, Greatest Hits, Beautiful Surprise, and her newest album, Passion Like Fire. After 20 years in the business, Tamia attributes her longevity and success to a key element; songwriting. “It started with getting involved in the writing process. I have to be out here selling this music, it has to come from me. I have to be able to connect with it, and it starts with being a part of the writing process,” she told the L.A. Times. The current single “Leave it Smokin’” is a sultry smooth single that has been climbing the Billboard charts.

NMAAM Celebrations of Legends Gala

Earlier this year, Tamia was one of the featured tribute artists for the fifth annual Celebration of Legends Gala at War Memorial Auditorium. She paid tribute to gospel singer Yolanda Adams, and told NMAAM on the red carpet that Yolanda was one of her influences.

“I am a part of the Yolanda Adams tribute and she has inspired me so much over the years. Music is such an amazing thing, it touches the soul, it speaks heart to heart, and it’s very important to just give them their roses,” said Tamia.

Here’s to hoping the six time GRAMMY nominee will continue making music for 20 more years and contributing to America’s soundtrack, and inspiring artists of the present and future.

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