Alicia 'Miki' Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the daughter of gospel singer Josephine Howard of the group The Caravans. Through her mother, Miki was able to meet stars like Aretha Franklin and Mavis Staples.
While in elementary school, Miki moved to Los Angeles with her mother. In Los Angeles at the age of 15, she performed in a teen pageant. After the show, Miki met Augie Johnson, a member of the group Side Effect. Johnson worked with Miki and when Sylvia St. James left the group, Miki became a member of Side Effect.
Howard worked with the group for a few years and had two children with Johnson during that time. During the same period, Miki did backgrond vocals for Wayne Henderson, Roy Ayers and various other acts.
Around 1985, Miki decided to pursue her own solo career. She signed to Atlantic Records and released the album Come Share My Love. The album had moderate hits with 'Imagination', 'Come Share My Love' and 'Come Back To Me Lover' which reached #13, 5 and 33 on the R&B charts respectively.
Miki continued her success with her second album, Love Confessions in 1987. The album had similar success to Miki's first album with the singles 'That's What Love Is,' 'Crazy,' and 'Baby, Be Mine' all charting. The singles reached #4, 38 and 5 on the R&B charts and the first featured the late Gerald Levert.
In 1989, Miki continued her success with the self-titled Miki Howard. The album featured Miki's first #1 hit with 'Ain't Nuthin In The World,' and had two more successes with 'Love Under New Management' and 'Until You Come Back To Me,' which both reached the top 5 on the charts. The hit 'Love Under New Management' was written during Miki's brief romance with Levert, though it was released after they had broken up.
Miki scored her last big hit with her album Femme Fatale in 1992. The album featured the single 'Ain't Nobody Like You' which was Miki's second #1 hit. The album was released on Giant, though Howard's deal with the label was cut short after an altercation her husband had at the label.
In 1993, Howard appeared in Spike Lee's Malcolm X as Billie Holiday. This appearance spurred the album Miki Sings Billie which featured Miki doing covers of Billie Holiday's work.
Since then Miki has faded from the scenes some, despite releasing new albums sporadically. In 1997, Miki released the album Can't Count Me Out and in 2001, she released Three Wishes. Three Wishes received a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album. Miki's most recent release, Pillow Talk, came out in 2006 but is simply covers of songs.