Jill Scott

Jill Scott Headshot

Singer • Actress

Birth Date: April 4, 1972

Age: 51 years old

Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

If Aretha Franklin held the title Queen of Soul, then singer-turned-actress Jill Scott deserved to be called Queen of Neo Soul. The singer's vocal style effortlessly combined jazz, R&B, hip-hop, and spoken word, resulting in hits such as the breezy ballad "A Long Walk" (2003) and the Grammy Award-winning duet "Daydreamin'" (2007). Scott also enjoyed a successful acting career, often playing tough-skinned women with a heart of gold. She appeared in Tyler Perry's films such as "Why Did I Get Married?" (2007) before landing a starring role on "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" (HBO, 2008-09), about a female investigator who solves mysterious crimes in Botswana. Her touching performance on the series earned Scott rave reviews and established her career as a naturally gifted and multilayered artist. Jill Scott was born on April 4, 1972 in Philadelphia, PA. Her mother, Joyce Scott, and her grandmother - who was nicknamed "Blue Babe" - raised the future star and influenced her love of music. Scott grew up listening to the vocal stylings of Aretha Franklin, Sarah Vaughan, and Michael Jackson, but it was her grandmother's daily routine of singing while taking a bath that inspired the youngster to become a vocalist. She graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls before attending Temple University in Philadelphia. After studying to become a high school English teacher, Scott realized she wanted to pursue a different career path altogether, and dropped out of the teaching profession. She spent some time working in various retail and service jobs before deciding a music career fit her perfectly. Scott first made her mark as a performer by appearing in spoken word and poetry readings. Amir "QuestLove" Thompson of jazz/funk/hip-hop collective, The Roots, discovered the budding artist and invited her to work in the studio. The duo co-wrote the track "You Got Me" (2000), which earned The Roots and singer Erykah Badu a Grammy award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Scott joined The Roots onstage at several tour stops, filling in for Badu's part in the song, and giving her own soulful hook that critics often compared to legendary singer Minnie Ripperton. Other artists in the hip-hop community took notice of Scott's talents and collaborated with her, including vocalist Eric Benet, rapper Common, and rapper-turned-actor Will Smith. After a stint touring Canada with the Broadway production of the musical "Rent" (1996), Scott signed with Hidden Beach Recordings label, where she released her debut album, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1 in 2000, fueled by the smooth and jazzy lead track "A Long Walk." The single earned Scott a 2003 Grammy nomination for Best Female Vocal Performance. She won her first Grammy two years later for Best Urban/Alternative R&B Performance for the track "Cross My Mind." With a hit album and a handful of awards - including a 2001 Lady of Soul honor as Entertainer of the Year - on her mantle, Scott went right to work on her second album. Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2 (2004) was the perfect sequel to her debut, filled with Scott's brand of soulful, down-home sound. Her musical success, however, never deterred the artist from other creative ventures. Scott's compilation volume of poems titled The Moments, The Minutes, The Hours was released in April 2005 and received much critical praise.

Scott won her second Grammy Award for her collaboration with contemporary jazz greats George Benson and Al Jarreau on the track "God Bless The Child" (2007). Her versatility to combine musical genres - from R&B to jazz to hip-hop - was loved by music fans worldwide. Scott scored another hit with "Daydreamin'," a single from rapper Lupe Fiasco that featured Scott's angelic vocals in the chorus. The song appeared on her 2007 album Collaborations, and earned the artist another Grammy in 2008 for Best Urban/Alternative Performance. If that was not enough, Scott treated her fans with her next studio album The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3. Released in 2007, the singer's third album featured the hit singles "Hate on Me" and "My Love." Using her star power to help those who were less fortunate, Scott established the Blues Babe Foundation to help minority students residing in Philadelphia, PA; Camden, NJ; and the Delaware Valley pay for university expenses. In 2003, the Foundation donated over $60,000 to the Creative Arts School in Camden. Aside from her educational advocacy, Scott was also quite vocal against the rap community's depiction of women. In July 2006, while appearing onstage at the Essence Music Festival, she criticized hip-hop songs and videos, asking the audience to "Demand more." Scott began acting after a filmmaker friend encouraged her to give it a try. She made her primetime TV debut in 2004 with a recurring role on "Girlfriends" (UPN, 2000-06; The CW, 2006-08). That same year, Scott acted opposite real-life couple Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick in the Showtime original movie "Cavedweller" before making a leap to the big screen in 2007 with two feature film projects, portraying the legendary vocalist Big Mama Thorton in the harrowing Southern drama "Hounddog," and playing Sheila Jackson, a woman asked to deplane because of her weight in Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married?" (2007). Due to an ever-growing résumé, it was only a matter of time before Scott found a perfect starring vehicle for her versatile talent. She was cast as literary heroine Precious Ramotswe on "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency," a miniseries that followed a charming African detective based on Alexander McCall Smith's series of novels (1998-2010). Filmed in Botswana, the series addressed issues from AIDS, domestic violence, to traditional women's roles in Africa. In 2010, Scott reprised her role of Sheila Jackson for the Perry-directed sequel, "Why Did I Get Married Too?" After the release of Scott's fourth album The Light of the Sun, she co-starred in an African-American remake of "Steel Magnolias" (Lifetime 2012) and romantic comedy "Baggage Claim" (2013). She portrayed James Brown's second wife, Dee Dee Jenkins, in the biopic "Get On Up" (2014) and co-starred opposite Regina Hall in romantic comedy-drama "With This Ring" (Lifetime 2015) before relasing her fifth album, Woman (2015).

Credits

The John Bishop Show

Self
Show
2022

Highway to HeavenStream

Actor
Angela Stewart
Series
2021

Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices

Guest
Show
2020

GMA3: What You Need to Know

Guest
Show
2020

Erykah Badu vs Jill

Music Performer
Show
2020

In Our Mothers' Gardens

Executive Producer
Movie
2020

Jill Scott: A Long Walk

Music Performer
Show
2019

First Wives ClubStream

Actor
Hazel Rachelle
Series
2019

The First Wives Club: Extras

Actor
Hazel Rachelle
Show
2019

Tamron HallStream

Guest
Talk
2019

Legendary Duets

Music Performer
Show
2019

Greatest Rappers 2

Music Performer
Show
2019

Common Feat. Jill Scott, Samora Pinderhughes: Show Me That You Love

Music Performer
Show
2019

Jaheim Feat. Jill Scott, Tamia and Anthony David: 10's R&B

Music Performer
Show
2019

Today 3rd Hour

Guest
Show
2018

Jill Scott: Golden

Music Performer
Show
2018

Jill Scott: The Way

Music Performer
Show
2018

Black LightningStream

Guest Star
Lady Eve
Series
2018
92%

R&B Queens

Music Performer
Show
2018

Study Mode

Music Performer
Show
2018

Best of Chicago

Music Performer
Show
2018

Daley Feat. Jill Scott: Until The Pain Is Gone

Music Performer
Show
2017

FlintStream

Actor
Nayyirah Shariff
Movie
2017

Love Beats RhymesStream

Actor
Professor Dixon
Movie
2017
44%

ChelseaStream

Guest
Talk
2016
41%

Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life -- An All-Star Grammy Salute

Music Performer
Show
2015

Jill Scott: You Don't Know

Music Performer
Show
2015

Jill Scott: Back Together

Music Performer
Show
2015

With This Ring

Actor
Vivianne
Movie
2015

Garage Sale Mystery: The Deadly Room

Production Design
Movie
2015

Black-ishStream

Guest Star
Yaya
Series
2014
92%

The Meredith Vieira Show

Guest
Talk
2014

UNCF: An Evening of Stars

Music Performer
Show
2014

Jill Scott: Essence Music Festival

Music Performer
Show
2014

Get On Up

Actor
DeeDee Brown
Movie
2014

The Queen Latifah Show

Guest
Talk
2013

The Arsenio Hall Show

Guest
Show
2013

Mo'Nique Show: Extras

Actor
Show
2013

Robert Glasper Experiment: Calls

Music Performer
Show
2013

Made in America

Self
Movie
2013

Baggage ClaimStream

Actor
Gail Best
Movie
2013
16%

Anderson Live

Guest
Show
2012

Steve Harvey

Music Performer
Talk
2012

Live! With Kelly and Michael

Music Performer
Talk
2012

The 43rd NAACP Image Awards

Music Performer
Show
2012

Steel MagnoliasStream

Actor
Truvy
Movie
2012

Nobel Peace Prize Concert 2011

Music Performer
Show
2011

Black Panther

Actor
Storm
Show
2011

UNCF An Evening of Stars Presented by Target

Music Performer
Show
2011

The BET Awards 2011

Actor
Show
2011

The VoiceStream

Guest
Reality
2011

The VoiceStream

Guest Star
Reality
2011

The Gayle King Show

Guest
Show
2011

Jill Scott: Blessed

Music Performer
Show
2011

Jill Scott: So Gone

Music Performer
Show
2011

Jill Scott: Hear My Call

Music Performer
Show
2011

Jill Scott Feat. Eve & The A Group: Shame

Music Performer
Show
2011

Jill Scott: So Gone (What My Mind Says)

Music Performer
Show
2011

Jill Scott: So in Love

Music Performer
Show
2011

Jill Scott Feat. Eve: Shame

Music Performer
Show
2011

Jill Scott Feat. Anthony Hamilton: So in Love

Music Performer
Show
2011

Pharoahe Monch Feat. Jill Scott: Still Standing

Music Performer
Show
2011

Edge of the Garden

Production Design
Movie
2011

The Talk

Guest
Talk
2010

Access Hollywood Live

Guest
Show
2010

A League of Their Own

Host
Show
2010

The 41st NAACP Image Awards

Music Performer
Show
2010

Black Panther: The Animated Series

Voice
Storm
Show
2010

Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?Stream

Actor
Sheila
Movie
2010
27%

Lying to Be Perfect

Production Design
Movie
2010

Sins of the Mother

Actor
Nona
Movie
2010

ES.TV

Guest
Show
2009

Feel the Beat

Music Performer
Show
2009

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective AgencyStream

Actor
Series
2009

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Guest
Talk
2009

FringeStream

Guest Star
Simone
Series
2008
90%

The Wendy Williams Show

Guest
Talk
2008

The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Actor
Show
2008

The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Actor
Mma Ramotswe
Movie
2008

The Morning Show With Mike & Juliet

Guest
Show
2007

Jill Scott: Hate On Me

Music Performer
Show
2007

Jill Scott: My Love

Music Performer
Show
2007

Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?Stream

Actor
Sheila
Movie
2007
48%

Hounddog

Actor
Big Mama Thornton
Movie
2007

Our World With Black Enterprise

Guest
Show
2006

Rachael Ray ShowStream

Guest
Talk
2006

Lupe Fiasco Feat. Jill Scott: Daydreamin

Music Performer
Show
2006

Made in Hollywood

Guest
Series
2005

The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

Guest
Talk
2005

The Writer's Hot List

Guest
Show
2004

Cavedweller

Actor
Rosemary
Movie
2004

Urban Style

Guest
Show
2003

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Guest
Talk
2003

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

Guest
Talk
2003

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

Music Performer
Talk
2003

Live With Regis and Kelly

Music Performer
Show
2001

GirlfriendsStream

Guest Star
Series
2000

106 & Park: BET's Top 10 Live

Guest
Show
2000

Every Woman

Guest
Show
1999

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitStream

Guest Star
Janice Raleigh
Series
1999
78%

In Performance at The White House

Music Performer
Special
1998

Kickin' It: With Byron Allen

Guest
Show
1998

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

The View

Music Performer
Talk
1997

Access Hollywood

Guest
News
1996

The Chris Rock ShowStream

Guest
Talk
1996

Later ... with Jools Holland

Music Performer
Show
1992

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

Music Performer
Talk
1992

The Oprah Winfrey ShowStream

Guest
Talk
1986

Skullduggery

Art Director
Movie
1983

Good Morning America

Music Performer
News
1975

Sesame StreetStream

Music Performer
Series
1969

TodayStream

Guest
News
1952

TodayStream

Music Performer
News
1952

News aboutJill Scott