Saturday, August 17, 2013

Nia Peeples

Nia Peeples (born Virenia Gwendolyn Peeples on December 10, 1961 in Hollywood, California) is an actress and singer.

She is known for her roles on television as Nicole Chapman on "Fame," Karen Taylor Winters on "The Young and the Restless," Sydney Cooke on "Walker, Texas Ranger" and Pam Fields on "Pretty Little Liars."

In the '80s and early '90s, Nia scored moderate hits on the Billboard charts.

Nia and her family moved to West Covina, California as a child. When she was 8 years old, she began performing with her family, giving concerts for community groups & conventions and did dances of different cultures.

Nia attended West Covina High School where she was an "A" student and involved in the marching band, cheerleading, tumbling, volleyball, student government, choral singing and sang in a rock 'n roll band.

She attended UCLA on a music scholarship along with performing as Liberace's opening act in Las Vegas on the weekends.

Nia took one semester at UCLA as a voice major, dropped out of school and took three jobs in order to pay for acting lessons.

She studied singing with Gloria Rush and while attending Playhouse West, she learned the Sanford Meisner acting technique.

One day, Nia went to a rehearsal with a friend and was spotted by the producers who cast her in a play called "Music Shop" which lead to guest appearances on television shows such as "Hardcastle and McCormick" and "T.J. Hooker."

Nia earned her first starring role portraying a deaf girl in the 1981 HBO television movie "A Single Light." She later auditioned for and won the part of Nicole Chapman on "Fame." Nia stayed on the show until 1986.

During that same year, Nia made a music video entitled "All You Can Dream" which was made for the purposes of promoting the values of UCLA and appeared in the music video for Prince's song "Raspberry Beret." In 1987, Nia hosted the American version of "Top of the Pops" which only lasted a year.
In 1988, Nia released her debut album "Nothin' But Trouble" on Mercury Records which peaked at #97 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The first single from the album "Trouble" peaked at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100, topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart for a week in June of 1988, #2 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #71 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 8 weeks.
The second single "High Time" peaked at #10 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart and #31 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
The last single from the album "I Know How (To Make You Love Me)" peaked at #28 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.

 In 1989, Nia appeared on the "Sing" movie soundtrack with the song "You Don't Have to Think Twice."
In 1991, Nia released her second self-titled debut album on Charisma Records. The album didn't appear to make the Billboard charts at all.
The first single from the album "Street of Dreams" peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100, #24 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart and #73 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 6 weeks.

The song became Nia's highest appearance on the Hot 100 and was featured in the 1992 movie "The Cutting Edge."
The second single "Kissing the Wind" peaked at #76 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also managed to chart in Canada.
The last single from the album "Faces of Love" peaked at #88 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song featured vocals from singer and then-husband Howard Hewett.

Nia hosted a short-lived dance variety TV show called "The Party Machine with Nia Peeples" which aired on the CBS network.
In 2007, Nia released the album "Songs of the Cinema" independently. The album is available on CD Baby and Rhapsody.com.

These days, Nia continues acting along with other various projects. She currently resides in Malibu, California with her husband Sam George and her two children: a son named Christopher (born in 1990) from her marriage to Howard Hewett and a daughter named Sienna (born in 1998) from her marriage to Lauro Chartrand.

In July of 2013, the family appeared on an episode of "Celebrity Wife Swap" in which Nia traded places with former teen singer Tiffany.

To see Nia's official Facebook page, go to:
https://www.facebook.com/niapeeples

To see the music video for "Trouble," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4nq9WIYPiQ

To see the music video for "High Time," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opQktwXB71w

To see a fan-made video for "I Know How (To Make You Love Me)," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXVngI_qBho

To see the music video for "Street of Dreams," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdwS8wlbKjM

To see the music video for "Kissing the Wind," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feovE-ylHRE

To see a fan-made video for "Faces of Love," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPrqW2li-F4

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