Dionne Yvette Farris (born December 4, 1968) is an American, singer, songwriter, producer and actress. Born and raised in New Jersey, she began singing in elementary school and competed in pageants as a teenager. She rose to fame in the early 1990s as the vocalist on hip hop group Arrested Development (1992) hit single, “Tennessee”.Farris released her debut album, Wild Seed - Wild Flower (1994) on Columbia Records. The album featured the Top 40 single, "I Know" (1995). That same year, the video earned Farris the Billboard Music Video Awards Best Pop/Rock New Artist Clip of the Year. She was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (1996).Arrested DevelopmentFarris and Arrested Development were signed to the same management company. The group wanted a female singer for their 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of... album and Farris, although she was not interested in being in the group, agreed to sing with them and became an unofficial "extended family" member. Farris sang on 3 songs with the group, "Fishin' 4 Religion", "Give a Man a Fish" and "“Tennessee”". Farris perform the song with the A.D. on the 1992 MTV Movie Awards, The Arsenio Hall Show and went on the group's first national tour. After the success of “Tennessee”, she began to receive media attention, and Chrysalis, (Arrested Development’s then label), A&R Duff Marlo offered Farris a solo deal, contingent upon Speech producing the project, but she rejected the offer in search of a deal where she would have artistic control. Farris began experiencing personal and business conflicts with the group’s leader, despite the success of “Tennessee,” the band’s first and biggest hit in 1992, Farris was never an official member of the band, and she left the group altogether in Atlanta in September, 1992, before a show, at the Fox Theater, after having a fight with Speech and co-leader Headliner.Wild Seed - Wild FlowerFarris reached out to Milton Davis and David Harris and began a collaboration. A demo sent to Sony Music was first reviewed by Bobby Colomby, then by the A&R, former American Idol judge Randy Jackson. He signed Farris to a deal at Columbia Records. Her debut album, Wild Seed – Wild Flower (1994), featured the 1995 hit single "I Know", which reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1996. In the UK Singles Chart, "I Know" peaked (after a re-release) at #41 in May 1995. Wild Seed – Wild Flower reached #57 on the Billboard 200 chart. Radio & Records magazine ranked "I Know" as the number-one most played song on mainstream Top 40/CHR radio stations for 1995 and spent 10 consecutive weeks at #1 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart (April 1-June 3, 1995). It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1996.Saturday Night LiveOn April 8, 1995, she was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, season 20, episode 17, when Damon Wayans was the guest host, performing "I Know" and her roots acoustic rendition of The Beatles classic, "Blackbird".SoundtracksThat same year (1995), her version of Billy Taylor's I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free appeared on the soundtrack to the documentary The Promised Land. It would appear again as the opening song to the (1996) Rob Reiner film Ghosts of Mississippi, about the true story of the 1994 trial of Byron De La Beckwith, the white supremacist accused of the 1963 assassination of civil rights activist of Medgar Evers. Farris' soundtrack work continued for another 1996 film, The Truth About Cats & Dogs, to which she contributed a version of the Stevie Wonder classic "For Once In My Life" as the closing song and the (1996) film First Wives Club with a rendition of Bill Withers' "Heartbreak Road". In 1997, she had another single called "Hopeless" (written by Van Hunt) from the Love Jones soundtrack.For Truth If Not LoveFarris recorded a second album For Truth If Not Love with Columbia, but she and the label would part ways before the project was released. It would later be released in 2007, issued on iTunes. It featured the track "Stuck in the Middle".Independent ReleasesFarris released her official follow-up album Signs of Life in (2011), named Top 10 soul albums of 2011, a mixtape Lady Dy, the Mixtape Pt 1 (2011) and a live jazz album Dionne Get Your Gunn: Featuring the Russell Gunn Quartet with Dionne Farris (2012) via PledgeMusic crowd funding on her own record label, Free & Clear Records.