Today is Jhené Aiko's 27th birthday! To celebrate, we're highlighting 16 things you need to know about the petite singer/songwriter:
1. Her full name is Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo.
The singer's first name is derived from the Ethiopian name Ghenet, which means “Paradise” or “Garden of Eden.” Aiko is her middle name and in Japanese means “little loved one.”
2. She has a pretty extensive racial background.
Aiko's mother is of Japanese, Spanish, and Dominican descent, while her father is of African American, Yaqui, Choctaw, Cherokee, Navajo, and German Jewish descent.
3. Her older sisters Miyoko and Jamila were in the R&B group, Gyrl.
They toured with Immature, who were signed to MCA/Silas Records.
4. She began her career appearing in several music videos and contributing vocals for R&B group B2K.
At the time, she was known as member Lil’ Fizz’s cousin, even though she is not actually related to him.
5. Jhené released a video for her single “NO L.O.V.E” which debuted on BET’s 106 & Park.
She was only 15 years old!
6. She was set to release her debut album, My Name is Jhené, in 2003 through Epic.
Due to some differences with the label, her album was never released. Aiko later asked to be released from Epic in order to continue her education.
7. She became a mother at the age of 20.
Aiko had daughter, Namiko Love, with O’Ryan (singer Omarion’s brother).
8. Aiko released her “Sailing Soul(s)” mixtape in 2011.
It featured collaborations with Drake, Kanye West and Miguel.
9. She was signed to a record label in 2012.
Music producer No I.D. signed Aiko to Artium Records imprint through Def Jam.
10. In 2012, she also lost her brother Miyagi to cancer.
She recorded "For My Brother" which was originally only intended for his ears.
11. Aiko released her first full EP “Sail Out” in 2013.
It included collabs with Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar.
12. Her video for the song “Bed Peace” was inspired by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
In the song’s cover artwork and video, Akio and Childish Gambino are seen in a similar pose to Lennon and Yoko during their bed-ins for peace protest against the Vietnam War.
13. Her songs have been featured on TV & films.
The list includes Barbershop, The Master of Disguise, You Got Served, and The Proud Family.
14. J.Hennessy is her alter ego.
The inspiration for her alter ego comes from the fact she has twelve "different personalities in her head" every day.
15. She collaborated with Big Sean on his song called "Beware."
The track was her first song to appear on the Billboard Hot 100.
16. Tupac is her biggest influence.
The singer has also credited Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Aaliyah and Kid Cudi as big inspirations.