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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Melanie Fiona

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Melanie Fiona, Canada’s own R&B breakout star, is making her climb up the musical charts to sit alongside the talented musicians that came before her.  We know her from her collaboration with Cee Lo Green on “Fool For You”, which won led to her second Grammy win. But what else is there to the rising R&B star?

Fiona was born in Toronto, Canada to two Guyanese immigrants.  Her father was a janitor, then later worked in finance, and her mother worked in banking.

After first moving to Los Angeles, Fiona said many record labels loved the way she sang and looked, but she was worried they would try to change who she was.  She was not comfortable with that and would not sign.

Fiona recorded the reggae song “Somebody Come Get Me” under the name Syren Hall.  This song was later included in the Reggae Gold 2008 album.

Before setting out in search of a solo record label, Fiona performed with the Toronto R&B group X-Quisite.  You can catch one of their old music videos here.

In 2008, Fiona was chosen by Kanye West to join his European Tour.  There she met and befriended Jay-Z, whose Roc Nation group now manages her.  On the tour, she also met Questlove who later issued a mixtape with her.

Fiona claims that the album responsible for encouraging her career in music was The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.  “It was such an amazing body of work that was quality from top to bottom, and made me believe that it was possible to make an album of substance.”

While performing at nightclubs in Toronto before her big break, Fiona wrote Rihanna’s song “Dem Haters”.

When not working on music or touring, Fiona likes to live a simple life: eating and spending downtime with her loved ones.  If she has time for television, you’ll find her watching Heroes.

Despite her rapid rise and recognition, Fiona manages to remain humble and amazed at her own accomplishments.  “Forever, I get to say, ‘I was a Grammy-nominated artist, and I had a #1 record with Billboard for two weeks,’ ”

Fiona recently dyed her hair blonde to the apprehension of some fans.  When asked about it, Fiona merely responded “I just feel like my music I never want to be put into a box.”

Mackenzie is an Alabama native attending NYU and studying Journalism and Dramatic Literature. She hopes to one day live in London and write for the BBC.