Song:That's What Love Is
Album:The Very Best Of
Alicia Michelle "Miki" Howard is an outstanding singer who had seven top five R & B hits from 1986-92 including two number one hits. She didn't cross over to pop. This duet with Gerald Levert That's What Love Is was a top five R & B hit in 1988. She was born Sept. 30, 1960 in Chicago. Her parents were Josephine Howard of The Caravans and Clay Graham of The Pilgrim Jubilees so she grew up in the music business. Her family moved to Los Angeles in 1969 when her mom was in one of James Cleveland's choirs. Along with all of the gospel singers she knew, Miki acknowledges jazz legend Billie Holiday as a major influence. In 1976, Miki was performing at a teen beauty pageant when she met Augie Johnson, leader of the group Side Effects. Eventually she was made lead singer of the group. They weren't all that successful but Miki had two sons with Johnson. When he refused to marry her, she left him and Side Effect in 1985. She scored a record deal with Atlantic Records and her first single Come Share My Love reached #5 on the R & B Singles chart. Then she began a relationship with Gerald Levert and he produced several songs on her 1987 album Love Confessions including the duet That's What Love Is. Miki wrote the song with Levert and his frequent songwriting partner Marc Gordon. Their on again off again relationship continued until Levert's 2006 death. Miki married Eddie Phelps in 1989. They had a daughter but his arguments with Atlantic got her moved to Giant Records for the 1992 album Femme Fatale. She had number one R & B hits with Ain't Nuthin' In The World in 1989 and Ain't Nobody Like You in 1992. She also played Billie Holiday in Spike Lee's 1992 film Malcolm X. But she also became a crack addict and Giant dropped her. She kicked the drug habit in 2000. In recent years, she has recorded occasionally and she was featured in a 2010 episode of TV One's Unsung series. She has released a new single Panther featuring rapper Too Short but the album hasn't been released yet. Want to feel old? Miki Howard is a grandmother. You can get all her hits on this Rhino budget comp. Here's the video for That's What Love Is by Miki Howard featuring Gerald Levert.