Monifah was raised in Spanish Harlem in Manhattan. Her family had a rich musical background and thus, encouraged her musical pursuits from an early age. Her mother would take her to audition for roles in musical theaters which helped her get a role in the off-Broadway production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.' She attended LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts with schoolmates like Omar Epps and Marion Wayans.
The experience she earned helped her get a spot as a back-up singer for Maxi Priest during his world tour. Her abilities brought her to the attention of Heavy D who signed her a deal with Uptown Records. Her debut album, Moods...Moments was released in 1996 and had several hits. 'I Miss You (Come Back Home)' received significant airplay and the hit 'You' managed to go gold.
Continuing her success, Monifah released her sophomore album, Mo'Hogany in 1998. Driven by the hit 'Touch It' which reached #9 on the Hot 100, the album managed to go gold.
Her final album, Home, was released in 2000 and was produced by Teddy Riley. The album had minor success, with one moderate hit single 'I Can Tell.'