Stephanie Mills was born on March 22, 1957 in Brooklyn, New York. Her music career got off to an early start as Mills starred in plays and won Amateur Night at the Apollo by the time she was 11.
In 1973, Mills began her musical career when she opened for the Isley Brothers. A year later, Jermaine Jackson of the Jackson 5 heard Mills sing and signed her to Motown Records.
At roughly the same time, Mills played Dorothy in The Wiz, an African-American adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Mills began playing the role in 1975 and quickly became a star due to her strong performances of the song Home. The track was covered several times later on, first by Diana Ross for the movie adaptation and later by Whitney Houston for her debut on TV.
During the first few years of Mills' music career, she failed to release a successful album. During this time, she released Movin' in the Right Direction in 1974 and For the First Time in 1976. However, in 1979, Mills finally scored success with the album What Cha Gonna Do with My Lovin. Rich in disco, the album featured hits 'Put Your Body In It,' 'You Can Get Over' and the title track. The album went gold and helped get Mills music career rolling.
In 1980, Mills released her second album, Sweet Sensation and scored a hit with 'I Never Knew Love Like This Before.' The track reached #6 on the pop charts and went gold, helping the album do the same.
1981 saw the release of her album, Stephanie. The album scored a hit with 'Two Hearts' which featured Teddy Pendergrass and helped the album go gold.
Mills continued to crank out albums, releasing Merciless in 1983 and scoring a hit with her cover of Prince's 'How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore?' The track reached #12 on the R&B charts.
Her self-titled album, Stephanie Mills, was released in 1985 and had her first #1 R&B hit. 'I Have Learned to Respect the Power of Love' brought Mills to the top of the charts and helped her spur a wave of #1 hits.
1987 was a strong year for Mills, with her album If I Were Your Woman. The album scored two #1 hits with 'I Feel Good All Over' and '(You're Puttin) A Rush On Me.'
Home, Mills next album, was released in 1989 and spurred two more #1 hits. 'Home' was a rendition of Mills' famous track from The Wiz and 'Something in the Way You Make Me Feel.' The album scored a last strong hit with 'Comfort Of A Man' which reached #8.
Stephanie Mills released two more albums during the 90s, with Something Real in 1992 anda gospel album, Personal Inspirations in 1995. Afterwards, Mills took a break to care for her son.
It wasn't until 2000 that Mills slowly began to resurface in the music industry. She recorded singles with BeBe Winans and DMX. In 2004, she released a new album, Born For This.