Originally born as Shanice Wilson-Knox out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the destined to be actress, singer, and songwriter relocated to Los Angeles, California, with her mother and aunt when she was still just a child. Originally, her mother and aunt wanted to pursue music careers of their own but shifted focus to help Shanice cultivate in here what they saw as talent. By the time she was nine years old, she was already appearing in commercials. In 1984, at eleven years old, Shanice was part of the regular cast for the children’s program, Kids Incorporated. Also at eleven years old, she competed on Star Search. Afterward, she signed up with A&M Records.
Shanice’s professional career as a musical artist began in 1987 with A&M Records but only released one studio album through them, which was Discovery. Her next two studio albums were through Motown, which was Inner Child on November 19, 1991, and 21… Ways to Grow on June 21, 1994. Her next studio album was self-titled and was released through LaFace’s record label on March 3, 1999. Her fifth studio album, Every Woman Dreams, was released on February 21, 2006, through an independent label, Imajah. Shanice also has two compilation albums she’s released, as well as thirty singles.
Top 10 Shanice Songs
#10 – Lovin’ You
The original “Lovin’ You” was a single performed by Minnie Riperton that was released in 1975 and became a number one hit for the songstress. As for Shanice’s version, it peaked as high as number fifty-nine on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in 1992, as well as number fifty-four on the UK Singles Chart. Her version saw the five-octave range showcase itself in the song, as well as her coloratura soprano.
#9 – I’m Cryin’
This powerful, tear-jerking ballad, “I’m Cryin’,” featured Shanice at her lyrical best. The sensitivity behind her soulful performance catapulted an otherwise ordinary R&B track into something a bit more extraordinary. I’m Cryin’ was the second of her four singles from her second studio album, Inner Child. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart, it reached number eleven. It also became an international hit when the Official German Charts ranked the song at number forty-seven and it was a number sixty-nine hit on the Netherlands’ Single Top 100.
#8 – No 1/2 Steppin’
Designed specifically as a dance single, “No 1/2 Steppin’,” was the second hit single released from Shanice’s debut album, Discovery. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it peaked as high as number six, which served as the second time for Shanice to realize a top ten hit in the R&B category. Between the electro-synth and background clap, putting full steps into this No 1/2 Steppin’ seems like it should be natural enough to do from the start of this song to its finish.
#7 – It’s for You (featuring Brett Bouldin)
From the 1993 motion picture, The Meteor Man, “It’s for You” served as one of the singles from the movie’s soundtrack. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, this shuffle-style R&B duet climbed up to number fourteen and was a number fifty-seven hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. The hip-hop installment from Brett Bouldin was critically acclaimed as observers took note of how it added more depth to an already appealing R&B performance.
#6 – Silent Prayer (featuring Johnny Gill)
From Shanice’s second album, Inner Child, “Silent Prayer” was a duet performance she shared with fellow R&B singer, Johnny Gill. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart, it was a number-four hit, as well as charting as high as number thirty-one on the US Billboard Hot 100. Breezy, soft, and melodic, this song flows from start to finish with a soothing sound that easily makes it a soulful classic.
#5 – (Baby Tell Me) Can You Dance
The debut single, “(Baby Tell Me) Can You Dance,” came from Shanice’s debut album, Discovery, in 1987. During an era where dance music was at its prime, this rhythmic single earned its place in the hearts of music fans and critics by charting as high as number six on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts. On the US Dance Club Songs chart, it climbed up to number sixteen. On the US Billboard Hot 100, (Baby Tell Me) Can You Dance charted at number fifty, and was also popular enough in the Netherlands to chart at number thirty-five on its Dutch Top 40 chart.
#4 – This Time (featuring Kiara)
In 1988, “This Time” was released as a single from Kiara and Shanice. The album, To Change and/or Make a Difference, belongs to Kiara’s discographic resume, which the critics gave mixed reviews for. The only highlight was the duo performance by Kiara and Shanice as Shanice was credited for upgrading an otherwise ordinary R&B contemporary song to extraordinary. The cuteness behind Shanice’s youthful voice in her lyrical performance played a factor in This TIme becoming a number two hit on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart. On the US Billboard, Hot 100 charted the single at number seventy-eight and on the UK Singles Chart, it appeared at number eighty-one.
#3 – When I Close My Eyes
Released from Shanice’s fourth studio album, the bubbly, R&B single, “When I Close My Eyes,” made history on April 3, 1999, when it jumped from its number ninety-one debut spot to number sixteen on the US Billboard Hot 100. The seventy-five position jump it made remained as a record until 2006. However, it did not climb much higher from there as the song peaked at number twelve. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, When I Close My Eyes charted higher at number four. It’s hard to beat beautiful piano music when it is matched with the melodic talent Shanice performs in one of those songs that seem even better when the eyes are closed and the fan just sits and listens.
#2 – Saving Forever for You
“Saving Forever for You” was a single released in 1992 from the Beverly Hills, 90210 soundtrack and became Shanice’s second top ten hit in her career. The sugary, urban contemporary ballad saw the vocalist’s melodic delivery at its finest. On the US Billboard Rhythmic chart, the single charted as high as number four, as well as on the US Billboard Hot 100. Saving Forever for You also charted at number twenty on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and was a number twenty-four hit on the Music & Media Europe Dance chart.
#1 – I Love Your Smile
The first of four singles released from Shanice’s debut album, Inner Child, was the best charted, best recognized, and best-selling song in her career. After this whispy R&B dance track was released, it promptly rose as high as number one on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, as well as number one on the Eurochart Hot 100. The popularity of this slinky song was so immense that it was a top ten hit among the majority of European and Oceania nations, as well as Zimbabwe, as it also topped the music chart there. This single was also instrumental in Shanice’s album’s success, which became certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Top 10 Shanice Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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