Chrisette Michele Payne, 22 December 1982, Long Island, New York, USA. R&B singer Michele was brought up in a strict Christian family; her father was a deacon, and she sang with gospel choirs in her teens. She made her mark on the US music scene as a session vocalist, and in 2006 appeared on major releases by Jay-Z (Lost One) and Nas (Cant Forget About You, Still Dreaming). Her smooth, jazzy vocal style attracted the attention of several major labels, leading to a contract with Def Jam Records. Her debut album featured a stellar production and writing team, including Babyface, John Legend and Will.I.Am, and was released in summer 2007. While Micheles vocals were consistently strong, the album as a whole fell curiously flat and was marred by the singers overly reserved approach.