From Church to Billboard
bio from cecepeniston.com
CeCe Peniston was born Cecilia Veronica Peniston in Dayton, Ohio. CeCe Peniston spent most of her formative years in Phoenix, Arizona, and got her start in singing at church. She performed in plays and musicals and participated in talent shows while learning to play the piano. Cece studied Liberal Arts at the University of Phoenix, which allowed her to develop her skills in writing lyrics. In 1989, CeCe was crowned Miss Black Arizona and reigned as Miss Galaxy in 1990.
In 1991, CeCe elevated as a true artist when a friend and Phoenix-based record producer, Felipe “DJ Wax Dawg” Delgado, asked her to record back- up vocals for a female rapper slated to release an album on A&M Records. Soon after, Peniston showed her willingness to make her own individual mark in the business, and land her solo project commissioned by then A&M Records music executive, Manny Lehman. Peniston’s hit single known today as “Finally” was born and CeCe accomplished what all talented artists only dream of, inking a deal for her own debut album.
The 1990s proved to be substantial for the Dayton, Ohio native. She became an international sensation and was considered to be one of the most successful dance club artists in the history of the US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play Charts. Peniston was successful at scoring five major number one hits within three years. Her signature Dance hit “Finally” was #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and #2 on the UK Top 75. It became one of the biggest dance records in history to sell over 3 million copies worldwide.
Peniston set in motion a series of singles and videos, all of which had varying success. Many of her songs triggered a series of Billboard Awards nominations in several categories and gained acceptability and appeal from fans across many genres of music. She is incredibly successful! However, the years leading up to 2014 have been filled with ups and downs for the now 45-year-old Singer, Writer, and Performer. Still an artist at heart, CeCe is reinventing herself and taking on a whole new image through television, fitness, and social media.
Her charitable organizations, LOTS (Lifting Voices To Succeed), and being an Ambassador to the National PT A, are also of great importance to her. Both have kept her dedicated to establishing the significance of placing the right values on youth in the early stages of their lives so that in their formative years, their milestones will be great and their struggles will be few. This love of bringing care and goodness to others is a way of inspiring her to write lyrics to songs that really matter.