Jill Scott(born April 4, 1972) is an American singer and actress. Scott was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She grew up an only child in a North Philadelphia neighborhood, raised by her mother, Joyce Scott, and her grandmother. She indicated in an interview with Jet Magazine that she had a happy childhood and was "very much a loved child". Scott was raised as a Jehovah's Witness and attended the Philadelphia High School for Girls.
After graduating from high school, Scott attended Temple University while simultaneously working two jobs. She studied secondary education for three years and, at one time, planned to become a high school English teacher. However, after serving as a teacher's aide, Scott became disillusioned with a teaching career, and she dropped out of college.
Prior to breaking through the music industry, Scott worked at a variety of jobs, including a number of retail positions and stints at a construction site and an ice cream parlor.
Jill Scott began her performing career as a spoken word artist, appearing at live poetry readings to perform her work. She was eventually discovered by Amir "Questlove" Thompson of The Roots. Questlove invited her to join the band in the studio. The collaboration resulted in a co-writing credit for Scott on the song, "You Got Me".
On the advice of her good friend, director Ozzie Jones, she began pursuing a career in acting in 2000. She joined a fellowship at a theater company in Philadelphia. For two years, she took small, menial jobs in exchange for acting lessons.
In 2000, Erykah Badu and The Roots won a Grammy for best rap performance by a duo or group for "You Got Me", and Scott debuted as an artist during a Roots live show, singing as original artist/singer of the song. Subsequently, Scott collaborated with Eric Benet, Will Smith, and Common, and broadened her performing experience by touring Canada in a production of the Broadway musical Rent.
Scott was the first artist signed to Steve McKeever's 'Hidden Beach Recordings' label. Her debut album, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1 was released in 2000.
Scott and longtime boyfriend Lyzel Williams, a graphic artist and DJ, married in 2001 in a private Hawaiian ceremony during a vacation. The couple dated for seven years before they married.
The live album, Experience: Jill Scott 826+, was released November 2001.
She experienced some notice and chart success with the single "A Long Walk", eventually earning a Grammy nomination in early 2003 for Best Female Vocal Performance. Scott didn’t win that year.
In 2004, Scott expanded her resume by appearing in several episodes of season four of UPN's Girlfriends, playing Donna, a love interest to main character, William Dent (Reggie Hayes). She also appeared in the Showtime movie Cavedwellers, starring Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick.
Scott's second full-length album, Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2, followed in 2004.
Jill Scott won her first 2005 Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative R&B Performance for "Cross My Mind".
Scott continues to write poetry; a compilation volume of her poems, The Moments, The Minutes, The Hours, was published and released by St. Martin's Press in April 2005.
In early 2007, Scott was featured on the George Benson & Al Jarreau collaboration single "God Bless The Child" (written by Billie Holiday), which earned Scott her second Grammy award, Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance, at the 2007 Grammy Awards ceremony.
Scott and Williams divorced in 2007.
Jill Scott was prominently featured on hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco's single "Daydreaming", which won a 2008 Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative Performance and also appeared on a new Scott collection called Collaborations which was released on January 30, 2007.
Her first feature film appearances occurred in 2007, when Scott appeared in Hounddog (as Big Mama Thornton) and in Tyler Perry's movie, Why Did I Get Married?
The Collaborations collection served as "an appetizer" for her next studio album, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3 released September 25, 2007. The lead single "Hate onMe", gained airplay in May 2007 with a video released in mid-July. In advance of the album's release, Hidden Beach released a 17-minute album sampler through their forums.
The song "Golden" is featured in a R&B themed radio station in the Rockstar Games video game Grand Theft Auto IV.
In 2008, Scott released her second live album, Live in Paris+, which consists of 8 songs recorded during her set list of the "Big Beautiful Tour" in Europe. The bonus DVD contains the same concert (shot and directed by J.G BIGGS), plus some live cuts from The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3. In the same year, "Whenever You're Around", a single from The Real Thing, which features George Duke, was a moderate hit on urban radio.
In 2008 Anthony Minghella's film adaption of Alexander McCall Smith's series of books The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency playing a detective. Scott then filmed additional episodes for the series in Botswana in late 2008
On June 20, 2008, at a concert in New York's Carnegie Hall, Scott shared a long on-stage kiss with her drummer, Li'l John Roberts; the couple then told the audience that they were engaged
BBC and HBO, broadcasted The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency as a seven-part series on BBC1 and HBO in March 2009.
Jett Hamilton Roberts, Jill Scott and John Roberts son was born Aprin20, 2009.
On June 23, 2009, Scott announced that she and Roberts had broken up, with Scott breaking the news to Essence magazine. Despite the break-up, Scott hopes for both parents to have an active part in their child's upbringing.
Early in 2010, Scott was sued by Hidden Beach Records for leaving halfway through her six album contract and owing millions of dollars in damages. The label's founder, Steve McKeever, claimed that he helped launch Scott's career and nurtured her into a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, but was unceremoniously dumped in October after a 10 year plus relationship. Scott, however, countersued that claim.
Jill Scott reprised her role as Sheila in Why Did I Get Married Too? A Tyler Perry Movie in 2010.
In 2010, she voiced Storm of the X-Men on the BET series Black Panther. On March 24, 2010, Scott guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Also in 2010, Scott starred in the Lifetime Movie, Sins of the Mother, as Nona, an alcoholic mother confronted by her estranged daughter, whom she neglected. At the 42nd NAACP Image Awards, Jill Scott was awarded Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for her role in Sins of the Mother.
To reimburse the damages to Hidden Beach Jill Scott and Hidden Beach planned to release several compilation albums consisting of previously unreleased material by Scott. The first album in this series was The Original Jill Scott from the Vault, Vol. 1. Previously titled Just Before Dawn, the album was asked to be paused by Scott so that fans would not get confused with the new material she was releasing entitled The Light of the Sun being released under a distribution deal by Scott and Warner Brothers signed in early 2011.
The Light of the Sun officially began production in 2010. Scott gave fans a preview of the music on her 18 city venue, co-headlining tour with R&B singer Maxwell, on the Maxwell & Jill Scott: The Tour.
The album The Light of the Sun features collaborations from Anthony Hamilton, Eve, Doug E Fresh, and Paul Wall. The album was released for pre-order days before it was officially released on June 21, 2011. It debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200 chart, with 135,000 copies sold in its first week, becoming her first #1 debut on the chart.
The album was preceded by the promo single "Shame", which was released on Scott's SoundCloud account in April 2012. The single features the rapper Eve and R&B trio The A-Group. The video was released on Essence.com on April 13. The album's official debut single was "So in Love" featuring Anthony Hamilton. It was released in April and debuted at #43 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, Scott's highest debut on that chart. It peaked at #10, and tied a record with Maxwell's "Fortunate" for spending 14 weeks at #1 on the Urban Adult Contemporary Chart.
Scott promoted the album with several tactics including The Light of the Sundays, several online Essence interviews, and releasing the album as an iTunes LP, giving fans exclusive photos and videos. Scott also embarked on her Summer Block Party tour sponsored by Budweiser's Superfest.
The album's second official single, "So Gone (What My Mind Says)" featuring Paul Wallwas released in August 2011, and the video premiered on September 13 on E! Online. It has peaked at #28 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Scott also released a video for the song "Hear My Call". The project gained Scott four NAACP Image Awards including Outstanding Female Artist, Outstanding Music Video ("Hear My Call"), Outstanding Song ("So in Love"), and Outstanding Album (The Light of the Sun).
In May 2012, Jill Scott appeared on VH1 Storytellers. Scott performed a few of her most notable songs such as "Golden" and "He Loves Me." With wig as well as costume changes, Scott created characters to fit each song in order to convey the message of the song.
Later in 2012 she starred alongside Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard, Phylicia Rashad, Adepero Oduye and Condola Rashad in Steel Magnolias, a remake of the 1989 original for Lifetime. She played the role of Truvy Jones, which was originally played by Dolly Parton.
In December 2012, Scott appeared in "The Human Kind", the eighth episode of the fifth season of Fringe.
Jill Scott starred alongside Paula Patton and Derek Luke in Baggage Claim (2013), the film adaptation of playwright David E. Talbert's 2005 novel of the same name.
Jill has announced her intentions of releasing two studio albums. One at the end of 2013 and the other during the spring of 2014. She first began kicking around the idea for Brown Baby Lullabies several years ago prior to giving birth to her son, Jett. The other to be another Vault Project from Hidden Beach. Both project hasn’t been released before the publishing of this article.
In 2014 Jill Scott co-starred in “Get On Up”, a James Brown bio.