Born on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad, Heather Headley began singing and playing piano for the church where her father was a pastor. When her family moved to the US in the early 1990s, she continued her musical pursuits at Northwestern University. After she graduated in 1997, she became part of the original Broadway cast as the female lead, Nala, in Elton John and Tim Rice's Tony Award winning musical, The Lion King. Headley's 2002 debut album, This is Who I Am, earned her Grammy Award nominations for "Best New Artist" and "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance." With the assistance of Clive Davis, CEO and chairman of BMG North America, she released her second album, In My Mind, from which the title track reached the number one spot on the US Hot Dance Music chart. Headley has built a respectable name for herself in the music industry, becoming one of powerhouse Andrea Bocelli's favorite singing partners, and receiving the honor of singing at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009.