I finally got a chance to watch Miki Howard’s Unsung episode on TV One after hearing so much about it. I’ve never heard her sing a Gospel song, so I didn’t realize that she has quite an impressive Gospel music connection.
According to Unsung, her mother was Josephine Howard of the world famous gospel group, The Caravans, and her father was Clay Graham, who was the lead singer of of the Pilgrim Jubilees.
Miki’s mother played a lot of jazz and R&B at home and her favorites were Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin. Miki’s father was rarely around and her mother was gay, so Miki had a tough childhood.
Her story is quite remarkable. I remember her popularity in R&B, in particular the song “Love Under New Management.”
During her childhood in Chicago and Detroit, Howard met some of the best singers of the day when they visited her family. “It was nothing for me to see James Cleveland, Billy Preston, and Fats Domino in my house. I was surrounded by music every day, so I knew I wanted to sing professionally someday.”