Mýa Marie Harrison (born October 10, 1979), professionally referred to as Mýa, is an American R&B and pop recording artist, entertainer, philanthropist, and occasional actress. A Washington, D.C. native, as a young child, Harrison took ballet lessons from the age of two and added jazz and tap dancing lessons to her schedule two years later. As she entered her teens, Harrison began to shift her focus to music. Gifted and musically-inclined, with the help of her father she put together a demo tape when she was 15 and begin to scout around for a record deal while still attending high school. At the age of 16, she signed a recording contract with Interscope Records.
Harrison’s eponymous debut album with (through) Interscope Records was released in the spring of April 1998. It sold over one million copies in the United States, producing the gold-certified top ten single “It’s All About Me” featuring Sisqó. Her second studio album, platinum-plus selling Fear of Flying was released in 2000 and became a worldwide success, with single “Case of the Ex” becoming Mýa’s breakthrough hit; topping the Australian Singles Chart for two consecutive weeks.
In 2002, Harrison won her first grammy award for her rendition of Labelle’s 1975 hit “Lady Marmalade”, a cover version she recorded alongside Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, and P!nk for the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack (2001). She released her third studio album, Moodring in the summer of 2003. The album produced the smash hit “My Love Is Like…Wo” and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Following a label change to Universal Motown, Mýa’s often-delayed fourth studio album, Liberation (2007), received a download-release in Japan only after her label accidentally leaked the album. With the decision to go independent and a decline in her popularity in the United States, Harrison was offered a recording contract with Manhattan Recordings (a division of Lexington Corp.) a record label based overseas in Japan. Through that label, she recorded two exclusive albums for the Japanese music market Sugar & Spice (2008) and most recently K.I.S.S. (2011). In between recording those two albums, she launched her own independent record label Planet 9 and participated in the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars; placing 2nd in the competition.
Aside from her recording career, Harrison launched an acting career as well. She made her feature film debut in 1999’s thriller In Too Deep starring LL Cool J and Omar Epps. Harrison continued to score supporting roles in films; with a supporting roles in Chicago (winning a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble Cast), Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Shall We Dance? (2004), and Cursed (2005). In addition, to scoring movie roles, Harrison has been engaged in product endorsement deals with brands such as Coca-Cola, Gap, Iceberg, Tommy Hilfiger, and Motorola.
Harrison contribution to music has earned her many accolades in the fields of pop and R&B music categories. In 2009, Billboard listed Mýa as one of their Hot 100 Artists of the 2000s; placing her in the 97th position. As of October 2009, she has sold 3.2 million albums in the United States alone and 7 million albums worldwide.