R&B singer and stage performer Stephanie Mills got off to an early start. By age nine, Mills had taken first prize at the Apollo Theater’s Amateur Hour and scored a role in the Broadway play MAGGIE FLYNN. Not long after, she toured with the Isley Brothers as their opening act, and released her solo debut, MOVIN’ IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, in 1974. In 1975, Mills was cast as Dorothy in the stage production of THE WIZ, a role that brought her fame and recognition. A brief tenure with Motown resulted in 1975’s FOR THE FIRST TIME, but the singer had greater success when 20th Century Records released her 1979 album, WHATCHA GONNA DO WITH MY LOVIN’, a blend of pop and disco that eventually went gold. SWEET SENSATION (1980), featuring the hit single “I Never Knew Love Like This Before,” made an even bigger splash. Mills continued to release albums, including 1981’s STEPHANIE and 1987’s IF I WERE YOUR WOMAN, placing singles such as 1986’s “I Have Learned to Respect the Power of Love.” Mills has also continued to record, perform, and act in stage productions into the 2000s.