Originally part of a rap duo that landed opening slots on big name hip-hop tours in the mid-1990s, singer, songwriter and actress Erykah Badu watched her music career advanced rapidly, with just over two years elapsing from her late 1995 discovery, subsequent solo record deal, two successful albums and multiple 1997 Grammy wins. Incorporating blues, jazz, soul and hip-hop, Badu created a fresh, edgy sound all her own, smoother than her rap roots and earthier than the polished R&B popular on the airwaves. Caramel-complected, with expressive, heavy-lidded eyes, Badu, who often dons an Afrocentric regal headwrap, was a compelling presence, with a grace and style that matched her beauty. The evocative, "The Color Purple"-inspired video for "On and On" introduced audiences to the singer's onscreen vitality and magnetism. Her honeyed purr complemented the down-to-earth spirituality injected into her lyrics, and won the performer many fans, catapulting her debut album "Baduizm" to platinum status and garnering her two 1997 Grammys. The follow-up album "Live" was released that same year, making the most of her success. This offering featured the unique single "Tyrone," which advised the titular friend of her soon-to-be ex to come over and help his friend clear his things out of her house. Balancing frank and clever lyrics with a pleasant neo-soul sound, Badu's music was used to good effect in films including "Eve's Bayou" (1997) and "The 24 Hour Woman" (1998). In 1999, she released the single "Southern Girl" with rapper Rahzel and won a Grammy for her work on The Roots' track "You Got Me."