Jill Scott (born April 4, 1972) is a Grammy-winning American singer-songwriter, actress and poet. Since 1999, Scott has made a reputation for being a classic, thought provoking artist gained by her 2000 multi-platinum selling debut, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1. Their followups Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2 released in 2004, and The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3 released in 2007 both achieved gold status. She made her cinematic debut in the films Hounddog and Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? in 2007. She also appeared as the lead role in the BBC/HBO series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. In 2008, Scott released her second live album, Live in Paris+, which consists of 8 songs recorded during her set list of the "Big Beautiful Tour" in Europe. The bonus DVD contains the same concert (shot and directed by J.G BIGGS), plus some live cuts from The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3. In the same year, "Whenever You're Around", a single from The Real Thing, which features George Duke, was a moderate hit on urban radio. Early in 2010, Scott was sued by Hidden Beach Records for leaving halfway through her six album contract and owing millions of dollars in damages. The label's founder, Steve McKeever, claimed that he helped launch Scott's career and nurtured her into a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, but was unceremoniously dumped in October after a 10 year plus relationship. Scott, however, countersued that claim.
To reimburse the damages, Hidden Beach planned to release several compilation albums consisting of previously unreleased material by Scott. The first album in this series was The Original Jill Scott from the Vault, Vol. 1. Previously titled Just Before Dawn, the album was asked to be paused by Scott so that fans would not get confused with the new material she was releasing entitled The Light of the Sun being released under a distribution deal by Scott and Warner Brothers signed in early 2011. The deal gives Scott direct control over her marketing and promotions and releases her music under her imprint of Blues Babe Records. She also signed a multi-tour deal with Live Nation to expand her concert touring.
The Light of the Sun officially began production in 2010. Scott gave fans a preview of the music on her 18 city venue, co-headlining tour with R&B singer Maxwell, Maxwell & Jill Scott: The Tour. After tour, Scott began studio sessions with the album's executive producer, JR Hutson. Recording sessions took place in several locations including 9th Street Studios, Studio 609, Fever Recording Studios in North Hollywood, California, Threshold Sound & Vision in Santa Monica, California, and The Studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Boom Boom Room in Burbank, California, and The Village Studios in West Los Angeles, California. It features collaborations from Anthony Hamilton, Eve, Doug E Fresh, and Paul Wall. The album was released for pre-order days before it was officially released on June 21, 2011. It debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200 chart, with 135,000 copies sold in its first week, becoming her first #1 debut on the chart.
The album was preceded by the promo single "Shame", which was released on Scott's SoundCloud account in April 2012. The single features the rapper Eve and R&B trio The A-Group. The video was released on Essence.com on April 13. The album's official debut single was "So in Love" featuring Anthony Hamilton. It was released in April and debuted at #43 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, Scott's highest debut on that chart. It peaked at #10, and tied a record with Maxwell's "Fortunate" for spending 14 weeks at #1 on the Urban Adult Contemporary Chart.
Scott promoted the album with several tactics including The Light of the Sundays, several online Essence interviews, and releasing the album as an iTunes LP, giving fans exclusive photos and videos. Scott also embarked on her Summer Block Party tour sponsored by Budweiser's Superfest. The tour was a hit, selling out venues throughout the country with opening acts Anthony Hamilton and legendary group Mint Condition. It also featured Doug E Fresh as the host and DJ Jazzy Jeff as the DJ. The album's second official single, "So Gone (What My Mind Says)" featuring Paul Wall was released in August 2011, and the video premiered on September 13 on E! Online. It has peaked at #28 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Scott also released a video for the song "Hear My Call". The project gained Scott four NAACP Image Awards including Outstanding Female Artist, Outstanding Music Video ("Hear My Call"), Outstanding Song ("So in Love"), and Outstanding Album (The Light of the Sun).During Jill's stint at the Essence Festival, she announced her intentions of releasing two studio albums. One at the end of 2013 and the other during the spring of 2014. She first began kicking around the idea for Brown Baby Lullabies several years ago prior to giving birth to her son, Jett. Now putting the finishing touches on it, she says the album will provide affirmations for babies and children. “The lyrics are meant to be encouraging and nourishing to the spirit,” she explained proudly. "The ultimate goal, however, is for the album people to purchase the album, but not actually hear it because they’ll be too busy sleeping," she said with a smile. “Turn that joker up and walk out the room,” she ordered. “Let them learn how to go to sleep.”