The title of her debut album Who Is Jill Scott? asks an important question: Who exactly is Rhythm & Blues singer Jill Scott?
Born and raised in North Philadelphia, Scott attended Thomas J. Pierce elementary school.
She recounts her childhood on her Web site.
She remembers “block parties, school bullies, cute boys, double dutch, ass whoopins, collard greens, Kool-Aid, diaries, hunger, hugs, holdin’ on, lettin’ go.”
After completing high school, Scott moved on to Temple University where she majored in education with a desire to teach English at the secondary level.
After her first student-teaching experience, Scott dropped out of Temple to pursue a career in theater.
This landed her a part with a Canadian production of the Broadway musical “Rent.”
Jill Scott grew into a very talented and successful woman since her days playing in the streets of North Philly.
“While Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince rocked Central High School parties and The Roots were street performers, Jill was reading poetry at a local art spot, October Gallery,” says MTV.com.
Scott’s poems soon took on more meaning, and she started to sing them.
The Roots’ drummer, Amir Thompson (aka ?uestlove) saw one of Scott’s performances and invited her to the studio with the band.
While there, Scott wrote the lyrics to “You Got Me,” which was performed by the Roots and Erykah Badu, and won a Grammy in 1999.
Philadelphia native DJ Jazzy Jeff helped Scott put together a demo tape, which included her hit “A Long Walk.”
After a lot of shopping around, Scott was signed to Hidden Beach records.
Already, Scott has earned herself a variety of award nominations that testify to her musical talent.
She has been nominated for three Grammy Awards three NAACP Image Awards and three Brit Awards.
In addition she received a trophy from Soul Train for Best R & B Female Album.
Jill Scott’s voice is powerful and she is a role model for women everywhere.
She shows that you do not have to look like Britney Spears to be successful.
According to the Hidden Beach Web site: “As for her answer to the question, Who is Jill Scott? well, ask Jill.
‘I don’t know how to call it.
I can’t really put me in any parameters,’ she says.
‘I don’t want to be in anybody’s box.
My hair’s not permed, I’m not skinny, I ain’t got a big ass.
A really important part of my work is that everybody have their own power.
We don’t follow like sheep.
Every child has their own.'”
i/l>Jillian Swanson can be reached at XoXSwansoniteXoX@aol.com.