The African-American actress and rapper Calesha Murray was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, on 22nd July 1987. At birth, she was nicknamed “breezy” or “Bre-Z” by her grandmother, as she would always cry when the windows were open. The nickname stuck – Calesha didn’t realize that Bre-Z wasn’t her real name until she started elementary school.
Overall, Calesha had an interesting childhood thanks to her mother working in the entertainment industry. According to the musician, she knew that she’d move in famous circles from a young age after waking up to find Wu-Tang Clan in her house. In sixth grade, the future celebrity decided to pursue her musical aspirations as soon as possible.
In 2005, Calesha matriculated from high school and enrolled into Florida’s Full Sail University. Three years later, when her mother found a job in Atlanta, the actress decided to move with her so they could remain as close as always. Somewhere along the line, the Philadelphia native began working as a barber, an occupation that was shared by many of her family members. As she began cutting hair at just 10 years old, Calesha already had experience, and would later work with famous clients such as Ludacris and Akon.
After living in Atlanta for six uneventful years, Calesha moved to Los Angeles in 2014 to work on her musical career. Despite having just one dollar to her name, she already had some experience in the music industry, which would serve her well in her future pursuits.
Calesha and her brother began rapping around Philadelphia when they were teenagers; at first, the “All American” star performed her brother’s songs but was later inspired to start writing original material. Aged 15, she was introduced to Freeway of the rap group State Property. Impressed by her musical prowess, Freeway and Calesha recorded a song together.
Soon Calesha was fulfilling her dreams, and writing songs with A-list rappers such as The Game and Dr. Dre. After moving to Los Angeles, her career took an unexpected turn when one of her contacts helped her land her very first TV audition. Calesha was subsequently cast as Freda Gatz in “Empire”, a role that lasted 31 episodes from 2015 through 2019. As Freda was also an aspiring rapper, Calesha performed some of her own verses during her time on the show.
After that, Calesha began taking on other TV roles, and also made her film debut in “Fat Camp” (2017). In 2018, she played Denise in the TV movie “Down for Whatever”; in November of the same year, the actress was the grand marshal of the Xavier University homecoming parade. Around the same time, Calesha was cast as Tamia Cooper in the sports drama “All American”, created by April Blair, which premiered on The CW in October 2018, and is loosely based on the life of the professional American Football player Spencer Paysinger (played by Daniel Ezra). As one of the series regulars, Calesha’s character is Spencer’s lesbian friend who gets caught up in a series of gruesome revenge killings between gangs after one of her loved ones passed away from gang violence. After miraculously distancing herself from the deadly lifestyle, Tamia focused on being a songwriter and DJ but was distracted from her music after being shot at the end of season three.
Calesha once stated that “’Coop’ is literally Bre-Z in high school”; her role has often been praised for breaking barriers for the LGBT community.
Via her independent label, Calesha has released two projects to date: the 2018 EP “The Grl” and her debut album, “Full Circle” in 2020. Despite being widely known as an actress rather than as a musician, the Philadelphian refuses to give up on her music career, and makes sure to promote her projects whenever possible.
Calesha went public with her girlfriend the make-up artist Chris Amore, in 2019 after years of protecting her privacy and refusing to post her romantic partners. Both parties posted steamy photos of their Christmas holidays, which came as a shock to Calesha’s fans after the actress once refused to reveal her sexuality during an interview.
Defying the odds, the “All American” alum and the make-up artist celebrated their five-year anniversary in June 2023, commemorating the special day with heartfelt social media posts dedicated to their other half. Not much is known about Chris, who currently has over 180,000 Instagram followers; however, we can confirm that she has her own skincare line, Amore by Chris Amore, and a business named Amore Skin Facials.
Calesha’s exact height and weight remain unknown – some sources list the actress as 5ft 1in (155cm) tall, whereas others claim that she is 5ft 5in (165cm). With a petite frame, Calesha weighs just 120lbs (54kgs) and makes sure to stay in shape and take good care of herself with a balanced diet and frequent exercise.
In addition to being an actress in a popular show, Calesha is a woman of many talents who loves to cook, write, and photograph. In an interview with Glitter magazine, the “Empire” star said: “I might make a book. I might just make a book about it, all my hidden talents. Lay it out!”
Currently, Calesha and Chris are appearing in MTV’s “Couples Retreat”, a show devoted to helping celebrity couples regain their spark through a series of adrenaline-filled activities and tense situations. Other famous couples who’ve participated in the show to date are Shamari and Ronnie DeVoe, Falynn Pina and Jaylan Pina, and Fatboy SSE and Tiana Kimrough.
As of July 2023, Calesha is reportedly worth $1 million, thanks to her acting and music careers. Even if some may argue that the former barber got a foot in the door of the entertainment industry thanks to her family connections, Calesha’s tireless work ethic and sheer talent have guaranteed that she is here to say.