Soft-voiced pop-R&B vocalist Ayanna Porter, known as Inoj (pronounced "I know J"), began singing at age seven in her native Madison, Wisconsin. She performed with her high school's choir and during her college years in Baltimore joined a group called Spellbound. With Spellbound, Porter supported acts like Regina Belle, Hi-Five, and the Whispers on East Coast gigs. She also found work as a session singer. In 1998, signed to Jermaine Dupri's Columbia-affiliated So So Def label, she released covers of Ready for the World's "Love You Down" and Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" as her first singles. The former was a Top Ten pop hit. Porter's version of Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell" appeared in 1999 and was followed by her debut album, Ready For The World. She went on to write and/or record with Janet Jackson ("My Baby," off 2004's Damita Jo), Billy Crawford ("Nine to Five," off 2007's It's Time), and Chantae Cann ("iChange," off 2016's Journey to Golden). Porter continued to record into the 2010s, but released only isolated tracks. ~ Heather Phares & Andy Kellman
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