Michel'le Denise Toussaint (/ˌmɪʃəˈl/; born December 5, 1970),[1][2][3] known mononymously as Michel'le, is an American R&B singer-songwriter rapper. She is best known for her songs from the late 1980s to early 1990s. Her most notable songs were two Billboard R&B chart toppers "No More Lies" (a top 10 hit on the Hot 100) and "Something in My Heart". Between 2013 and 2015, Michel'le was one of six members on the TV One reality show R&B Divas: Los Angeles. In 2016, she was the subject of the biopic Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel'le.

Michel'le performing in 2015
Michel'le performing in 2015
Background information
Birth nameMichel'le Denise Toussaint
Born (1970-12-05) December 5, 1970 (age 49)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter rapper
Years active1987–present
Associated acts


Michel'le in 1990

Michel'le, a native of South Central Los Angeles, was originally a featured female vocalist of Louisiana Creole descent on World Class Wreckin' Cru's 1987 single "Turn Off the Lights.” She was called at the last minute to record vocals for Mona Lisa, who could not make it to the studio. Michel'le was signed to Eazy-E's Ruthless Records. In 1989, she released her self-titled debut album, produced entirely by then-boyfriend Dr. Dre. The album contained "No More Lies" which peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100,[4] and the hit singles "Nicety" and "Something in My Heart.” Michel'le was certified Gold on April 25, 1990 with 1.3 million copies sold overall to date.[5] During the Suge Knight shakedown incident, Jerry Heller was forced to sign over Dr. Dre, The D.O.C. and Michel'le.[6] She scored a nomination for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group at the 33rd Grammy Awards for her part in the single cut "We're All in the Same Gang" (credited as the West Coast All-Stars) which also included Ice-T, MC Hammer, Young MC, JJ Fad as well as NWA members Dr. Dre, MC Ren and Eazy E.[7][8]

In 1998, she released her second album, Hung Jury, on Death Row Records but it garnered little attention and no hit singles. As of 2013, worldwide sales for the album stood at 171,000 copies. Michel'le also provided vocals on 2Pac's song "Run tha Streets" on his album All Eyez on Me, and Tha Dogg Pound's song "Let's Play House" on their debut Dogg Food. Soon after Dr. Dre's departure from Death Row Records in 1996, Michel'le and Dr. Dre parted ways after he became engaged to another woman.[9]

Michel'le contributed to the soundtrack Dysfunktional in 2003. She has since confirmed through several media outlets that she's been working on new material and looking for a label for her third album. In 2011 and 2014, Michel'le released new singles "Freedom To Love" and "It Still Hurts," though she hasn't released an album since 1998.[10] A trailer video for her single "Freedom To Love" can be seen on YouTube.[11]

In 2013, Michel'le was part of the cast of TV One's R&B Divas LA.[12]

Her character was left out of the 2015 film Straight Outta Compton,[13] even though she played a role in N.W.A. Michel'le was included in a notorious N.W.A diss track on Ice Cube's 1991 double platinum effort, Death Certificate, in a reference to a video the group made with the female singer. This omission gave her the opportunity to tell her story. On October 15, 2016, Lifetime aired a biopic about her life titled Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel'le.[14] She was portrayed by Rhyon Nicole Brown.[15] It tells the story of her abusive relationship with Dr. Dre and Suge Knight, her experiences with Ruthless Records, and the journey she went through to find herself. Her intentions with the biopic is to help encourage other victims of domestic violence.

Michel'le was cast as herself in the stage play Love Jones: The Musical.[16][17]

Personal lifeEdit

Michel'le was engaged to Dr. Dre and they have a son, Marcel (b. 1991).[18][19] When they began dating in 1988, Dre had a baby on the way.[20] Marcel was her first child born and his fourth. After their son was born, their relationship became more strained due to Dr. Dre's drinking, infidelity and volatile behavior. Michel'le has stated that Dre was physically abusive throughout their relationship. Her injuries included a broken nose (which she had to have surgically corrected), a cracked rib and five black eyes.[18][21] She recalled on The Breakfast Club that after the first time he hit her, they cried together in bed and he apologized, but the abuse continued.[22] After one argument Dre shot at Michel'le, missing her by inches. She left the bullet in the door for him to see and said, "he never tried to shoot me anymore. Thank God. But the beatings were — it was a lot…His last wife, I just couldn't do it anymore. It's too much."[23] She then began to self medicate with prescription pills and alcohol.[9] Michel'le left Dre after she discovered that he was engaged to another woman.[9]

At her lowest point with Dre, Death Row Records CEO/co-founder Suge Knight stepped in to help get Michel'le clean by sending her to rehab. In 1999, Michel'le married Suge while he was in prison.[18] She filed for divorce six years later. Michel'le discovered that her marriage to Suge was invalid through the divorce process because he was still married to his ex-wife Sharitha. She stated Suge hit her once, dislocating her jaw.[citation needed] They have a daughter, Bailei (b. 2002).[24] In 2009, Michel'le went to court over unpaid spousal and child support from Suge.

In 2015, after Dre was criticized for omitting his past of abusing women in the film Straight Outta Compton, he issued a statement to The New York Times apologizing to the women he has hurt. Michel'le did not think the apology was genuine and said she believed he released the statement to protect his brand. "He apologized to the public. I don't think that was an apology to me, because if it was, he would've either called me without the public and said 'Michel'le, I am so sorry for what I did to you 20-something years ago,' that's an apology," she said.[25]


Studio albumsEdit

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
1989 Michel'le 35 5 49
1998 Hung Jury 56


List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album

"No More Lies" 1989 7 2 153 27 78 Michel'le
"Nicety" 1990 29 5
"Keep Watchin" 65
"Something in My Heart" 31 2
"If?" 1991 22
"Hang Tyme" 1998 66 Hung Jury
"Can I Get a Witness?"
"Freedom to Love" 2011 Non-album single
"It Still Hurts" 2014
"Being in Love" 2015
"Moonlight" 2016 Surviving Compton - OST


  1. ^ "Michelle D Toussant - Los Angeles County Birth Records". www.familytreenow.com. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  2. ^ "Michelle Denise Toussant - Los Angeles, California". www.familytreenow.com. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  3. ^ "Michelle Toussant birth record".
  4. ^ a b c d e "Michel'le Chart History". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - August 15, 2015". RIAA. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  6. ^ djvlad (2019-07-13), Mob James Details Suge Knight Forcing Jerry Heller to Sign Over Dr. Dre & Michel'le (Part 7), retrieved 2019-07-19
  7. ^ "Chicago rap artists take a stand to combat gun violence with an interactive music video". Chicago Now. October 16, 2015.
  8. ^ "Collins Grabs Eight Grammy Nominations". Variety. January 14, 1991.
  9. ^ a b c Mojica, Nicholas (October 15, 2016). "'Surviving Compton' Exposes Michel'le's Abuse By Dr. Dre And Relationship With Suge Knight; 16 Things We Learned From Lifetime Biopic". International Business Times.
  10. ^ Hawkins, Kayla (October 15, 2016). "What Is Michel'le Doing Now? 'Surviving Compton' Was Only The Beginning". Bustle.
  11. ^ "Michel'le Freedom To Love (Music Video Trailer)". YouTube. 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  12. ^ "Q&A: Michel'le—An R&B Diva". Soul Train. July 16, 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Michel'le's Surviving Compton Doesn't Forget About Dre". www.theroot.com. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  14. ^ Harris-Perry, Melissa (October 13, 2016). "Michel'le Opens Up About Her Abusive Relationships With Dr. Dre and Suge Knight". Elle. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  15. ^ "Michel'le, Rhyon Nicole Brown talk Lifetime movie 'Surviving Compton'". Fox2 Now. October 12, 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  16. ^ "BET: See who will star in 'Love Jones' the Musical". BET. July 1, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  17. ^ "Love Jones: The Musical". www.lovejonesthemusical.com.
  18. ^ a b c Porter, Lauren (October 14, 2016). "Before 'Surviving Compton:' 6 Things To About Michel'le, Dr. Dre And Suge Knight's Relationship". Essence.
  19. ^ Ro, Ronin (2007). Dr. Dre: The Biography. New York City, United States: Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN 1-56025-921-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  20. ^ Del F. Cowie (2019-11-26). "Dr. Dre". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2019-11-26.
  21. ^ "Dr. Dre's Ex Michel'le Speaks on Being the 'Quiet Girlfriend Who Got Beat Up'".
  22. ^ "Michel'lInterview - The Breakfast Club Power 105.1 - 3/20/15".
  23. ^ Sanghani, Radhika (August 14, 2015). "Dr. Dre admits he's assaulted women: 'I made some horrible mistakes'". The Telegraph.
  24. ^ "Michel'le Demands Child Support From Suge Knight". Archived from the original on 2015-10-02. Retrieved 2015-08-26.
  25. ^ Williams, Brennan (October 7, 2016). "Michel'le Opens Up About Her Abusive Relationship With Dr. Dre". Huffington Post.
  26. ^ a b "charts.nz > Michel'le in New Zealand Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  27. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - August 15, 2015". RIAA. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  28. ^ "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 12 July 2016". Imgur.com. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  29. ^ "Official Charts > Michel'le". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-07-12. N.B. This page also displays chart peaks for other artists named 'Michelle'.

External linksEdit