Dawn Biography

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Birth Name: Dawn Angeliqué Richard
Born: 1983/08/05
Birth Place: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Years Active: 2005–present
Genres: R&B, Pop, Soul

Dawn Richard (born Dawn Angeliqué Richard, August 5, 1983) is an American singer. Richard is a former member of the musical group Danity Kane, from 2005 to 2009, and in 2010 joined Diddy-Dirty Money with label head Sean “Diddy” Combs and Kalenna Harper until they disbanded in 2011. Richard launched her solo career in 2011 following her departure from Bad Boy Records.

Early on in her teenage life, Richard began performing with a local New Orleans group called "Realiti". Discovered as a solo artist by Kemic A. Smothers at a 2004 live performance at Tipitina's Uptown in New Orleans, Richard was soon signed under the name Dawn Angelique to an exclusive recording contract and development deal the independent Atlanta record label, Yeah! Brother Records.

Recording in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New Orleans, Richard and Yeah! Brother records, along with platinum awarded production team The NexMen, Rochad Holiday and Curtis “Sauce” Wilson, crafted a debut studio solo album called “Been a While,” featuring the single “So What” which was co-produced by NeYo. Yeah! Brother Records and its New Orleans management company, Scratch Entertainment, agreed after negotiations with Combs’ Bad Boy Records to postpone release of the album until October 2005, while arranging an immediate release from her exclusive recording contract with Yeah! Brother Records.

Richard's break came in 2005 when she auditioned for the MTV show “Making the Band 3” in Orlando, where she was chosen to compete for a spot in Combs's future girl group. After the negotiated release from her contract with Yeah! Brother Records, she elevated her career by signing with international powerhouse Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment. She beat out numerous contestants to secure herself a spot, along with Aubrey O'Day, Aundrea Fimbres,Wanita Woodgett (now known as “D. Woods”), and Shannon Bex.

The newly formed group became Danity Kane. The idea for the name of the group came from one of Richard's drawings. An avid fan of manga, while Danity Kane was in the studio, Richard drew a female superhero which caught the attention of Combs. When asked what the character's name was, she replied, “Danity Kane.”

Early in 2008, a song called “Phase” was leaked onto the internet and featured Lil Wayne. Although it was buzzed as a Danity Kane track, only Richard's voice was featured on the song, which left speculation that it was a solo demo. In July 2008, two new tracks were released, “Rush Love” which featured Flo Rida, and another track “Strobe Light.”

In January 2009, Richard confirmed to MTV News in an interview that Danity Kane had split up. In the April 2009 Combs revealed that he released O'Day and Woods, along with Bex, from their contracts, and would be releasing Fimbres as well. He told Richard that she will stay on the label and that if there are any future plans for a new Danity Kane, she will be the only returning member.

In 2009, Richard began working with Bad Boy Records, writing for artist Cassie and Combs. Richard then became a member of the Diddy-Dirty Money collective, which included Combs and singer-songwriter Kalenna Harper. In 2010, Richard started working heavily on putting the finishing touches on her mixtape, “The Prelude to A Tell Tale Heart,” which was released in February 2011.

An EP, “Armor On,” was issued in March 2012 as a prelude to her second full-length album. Singles released from the EP included “Bombs,” “S.M.F.U (Save Me From U),” “Black Lipstick” and “Automatic.” The EP reached #1 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart and #5 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart.

In January 2012 Richard released her sophomore solo studio album, “GoldenHeart.” The record is said to be part of a trilogy that will include “BlackHeart” and “RedemptionHeart” slated for future releases.