Who is Heather Headley?
American actress and singer-songwriter Heather Headley, was born in Barataria, Trinidad and Tobago on 5 October 1974, making Libra her zodiac sign. She’s appeared in only nine TV series and movies, and is probably known best for portraying Helen Decatur in 20 episodes of the popular romantic series “Sweet Magnolias”, which stars JoAnna Garcia Swisher and Carson Rowland, and was created by Sheryl J. Anderson. It follows the lives of three women from South Carolina, who’ve been best friends since their teenage years, the series has been airing since 2020, and has won two of its three award nominations.
Education and early life
Heather was raised in Trinidad alongside her brother Eric Junior, by their father Eric Headley and mother Hannah; they moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana when Heather was 14, after her father was offered the position of pastor at the McKee Street Church of God.
Heather studied at Northrop High School and was mostly into singing and acting during her time there; she was a member of the school choir Charisma, and starred in the school production of “Funny Girl”.
Upon matriculating in 1993, she enrolled at Northwestern University, from which she dropped out during her junior year in 1996, wanting to pursue acting.
Roles in theatre plays
Heather’s acting career was launched in 1996, when cast to appear in a production of the musical “Ragtie” in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; she became popular in the following year, when she originated the role of Nala in the Broadway musical “The Lion King”.
After having been praised for her performance as Nala, Heather was invited to star as Aida in the Broadway play “Aida”, for which she won a 2000 Tony Award for Best Actress. She also appeared in the production of “Do Re Mi” in 1999 and in “Dreamgirls” in 2001.
After a long break from theatre plays, Heather appeared as Rachel Marron in the musical “The Bodyguard” from November 2012 through August 2013, and portrayed Shug Avery in the Broadway play “The Color Purple” from 10 May 2016 through 8 January 2017.
Most recently, in May 2022, she played The Witch in the musical “Into the Woods”.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 5, 2016
Heather’s debut film role was playing Nala in the 1997 musical “The Lion King”, and the year 2001 saw her play Pocket Queen in the family drama “Sesame Street: Elmo’s Magic Cookbook”.
In 2004, she portrayed Rosa Negra Singer in the popular romantic musical “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights”, which starred Romola Garai and Diego Luna, and was directed by Guy Ferland. Set in 1958, the film follows Katey who’s moved to Havana with her father as he’s been promoted at Ford, but was nominated for The Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst Sequel.
Also in 2004, Heather played a supporting character in the romantic comedy “Breakin’ All the Rules”, which starred Gabrielle Union and Jamie Foxx, and was written and directed by Daniel Taplitz. It follows a man who’s published a break-up handbook for men, now that his fiancée has broken up with him, and the film won one of its six award nominations.
Heather’s only other film role has been playing Clara Ward in the 2021 biographical musical “Respect”, which starred Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson, and was directed by Liesl Tommy. It follows the life of the late American singer-songwriter and ctresst Aretha Franklin – the movie won three of its 43 award nominations.
TV series roles
Heather’s debut TV series role was playing Dr. Clara Jamison in eight episodes (2017-2019) of the comedy “She’s Gotta Have It”, which starred Anthony Ramos and DeWanda Wise, and was created by Spike Lee. It follows the lives of a woman and her three lovers; the series won one of its seven award nominations.
In 2019, Heather voiced Fikiri in the episode “Journey of Memories” of the animated action adventure “The Lion Guard”, and her only other TV series role has been playing Gwen Garrett in 14 episodes (2018-2021) of the drama “Chicago Med”, which today stars Marlyne Barrett and Nick Gehlfuss, and was created by Derek Haas and Michael Brandt. It follows the lives of members of a medical team, the series has been airing since 2015, and has won five of its nine award nominations.
My new ‘day job’…at the big hospital…STARTS TONIGHT. I’m pretty excited to be in the @nbc #Chicago family. I hope…
Some of Heather’s recent talk-show appearances have been in “The Sound of Musicals”, “Show People with Paul Wontorek” and “Stars in the House”.
Heather signed a contract with RCA Records in 2001, and in October of the following year released her debut album “This Is Who I Am”; its second single “I Wish I Wasn’t” was a success, and the album was nominated for two Grammies for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
She released her second album, “In My Mind” on 31 January 2006, and its eponymous single topped the US Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.
Heather’s third album “Audience of One” was released on 13 January 2009, and it won a Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album; her fourth album “Only One in the World” followed on 25 September 2012, while her sixth and most recent album “Broadway My Way” came out on 14 November 2018.
Love life and husband
One can rarely hear Heather speak about her love life in public, but some details about it are still known. Her husband is American investment advisor Brian Musso, who once briefly played for the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL); the two met while studying at Northwestern University, and exchanged vows in a small ceremony in 2003.
Heather gave birth to their son John David on 1 December 2009, their second son Jordan Chase followed on 18 August 2014, and she gave birth to their daughter in April 2019.
Heather hasn’t spoken about whether or not she dated other men prior to meeting Brian; she’s married to Brian Musso as of June 2023, and they have two sons and a daughter together.
Interesting facts and hobbies
Heather’s deeply religious and often performs with the worship team Vertical Church Band from Harvest Bible Chapel; she can be heard on their two recorded songs – “All Glory” and “How Great Is The Love”’.
More than 150,000 people are following Heather on Instagram today, and she’s posted over 1,500 pictures and videos onto the network, with most of these showing her during her everyday life, whether she’s driving her car, spending time in nature, or travelling.
Heather’s been taking dance lessons since her teenage years, and can thus dance a number of styles; her favorite is salsa.
She’s worked with several charity organizations which aim to bring music closer to underprivileged children.
Heather enjoys watching Hollywood movies in her spare time; her favorite actress is Jennifer Lawrence, and some of her favorite movies include “Silver Linings Playbook”, “American Hustle” and “The Hunger Games”.
Height, eyes and wealth
Heather’s age is 48. She has brown eyes and hair, is 5ft 8ins (1.74m) tall and weighs around 145lbs (65kgs).
Heather’s net worth’s been estimated at over $1 million, as of June 2023.