Syleena is the daughter of R&B/soul singer Syl Johnson and Brenda Thompson, the first Black female police commissioner of Harvey, Illinois.
From a young age, Syleena wanted to pursue music but her father was not encouraging. In 1997, she met someone from Jive Records at a charity basketball game and got her demo tape to a label executive. She was later signed to the company.
From 2001 to 2004, she released two albums: Chapter 1: Love, Pain & Forgiveness and Chapter 2: The Voice. Syleena was featured on fellow Chicagoan Kanye West’s 2004 single, “All Falls Down,” which was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 47th Grammy Awards.
Since then, Syleena continued to write and record music. The singer-songwriter appeared on three seasons of TV One’s R&B Divas: Atlanta from 2012 to 2014.