Naturi Naughton

Naturi Cora Maria Naughton (born May 20, 1984)[1] is an American singer, songwriter and actress. Naughton is best known as one-third of the R&B group 3LW and for her acting roles in Fame, Notorious, where she played Lil' Kim, and The Playboy Club. Naughton was a series regular in season one of the Lifetime television drama series The Client List as Kendra. Naughton starred in the Starz drama Power as Tasha St. Patrick and has reprised her role in the spin-off series Power Book II: Ghost.

Naturi Naughton
Naughton at a performance of The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker in December 2010
Naughton at a performance of The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker in December 2010
Background information
Birth nameNaturi Cora Maria Naughton
Born (1984-05-20) May 20, 1984 (age 36)
East Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Years active1999–2002 (3LW)
2009–present (solo)
LabelsEpic Records (1999–2002)
Associated acts3LW

Early life and educationEdit

Naughton was born and raised in East Orange, New Jersey,[1] the daughter of Brenda, a part-time paralegal, and Ezra Naughton, a retired accountant.[2][3] Her musical talent emerged at the age of five years, when she joined her church choir at New Hope Baptist Church (the same church where Whitney Houston performed in her youth) in Newark, New Jersey. She attended St. Joseph's Catholic school and Immaculate Conception High School in Montclair, New Jersey. She has sung the national anthem at various events in New Jersey and attended Seton Hall University.[4]



In 1999, at age 15, Naughton joined Adrienne Bailon and Kiely Williams to form the group 3LW. Their first single, "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)", was released in the fall of 2000. "No More" was a success and was followed by the second single, "Playas Gon' Play" in early 2001. The group's debut album, 3LW, was released on December 5, 2000. The album went platinum, selling 1.3 million copies in the U.S. In the summer of 2001, the group went on the MTV TRL tour along with Destiny's Child, Dream, Nelly, Eve, and Jessica Simpson.

3LW spent the first half of 2002 in the studio, recording an album tentatively titled Same Game, Different Rules. The album and its intended lead single "Uh Oh" were presented to the label, who felt it did not have enough urban radio appeal. The tracks from Same Game, Different Rules were leaked to the Internet in MP3 format, and Epic considered dropping the band. A fan support campaign for 3LW named 'Never Let Go of 3LW' followed, and the act was retained. Recording a new set of tracks, 3LW returned in the summer of 2002 with the P. Diddy-produced single "I Do (Wanna Get Close To You)", featuring Loon.

By August 2002, the group was set to release its newest LP, A Girl Can Mack, when Naughton announced that she was no longer a member of the group. Naughton says that the other two girls and their management had forced her out.[5] The problems reached a breaking point after a heated argument with Williams, Bailon, and their manager, which allegedly ended with Williams throwing a hot plate full of KFC food at Naughton. Epic Records then ended their relationship with both 3LW and Naughton. Despite Naughton's departure both Bailon and Williams resumed as a duo for a short amount of time and later Jessica Benson became Naughton's replacement. The group has since disbanded. In May 2017, she reunited with former groupmate Bailon on the daytime talk show The Real, who promoted the season premiere of Power.[6]

Solo workEdit

Naughton at H-E-B Holiday Parade 2009

Naughton recorded five tracks for the Fame soundtrack which was released on August 25, 2009.[7] The following month Naughton scored her first solo chart entry ever with her cover of Fame peaking at No. 33 on the UK Singles Chart. The single also reached the Top 20 in Finland, Portugal and Norway.[8] In 2010 an extended play was released titled Fame Presents Naturi Naughton as Denise: Didn't I Tell You. The EP included tracks already heard before as well as previously unreleased tracks.[9][10]

In February 2010, when appearing on the BET talk show The Mo'Nique Show, Naughton expressed interest in recording a solo-debut album. However, Naughton has revealed she is instead focusing on her acting career but has not ruled out an album. An ensemble of demos have leaked to the internet, including a duet with Lil' Kim. However, it is unknown whether or not they will be released on her debut album. She was believed to be working with music producer Full Force at the time.


Throughout 2005 to 2008, Naughton starred in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Hairspray as Little Inez.[11] In March 2008 Naughton was cast to portray Grammy Award-winning rap artist Lil' Kim in Notorious, a biopic film about The Notorious B.I.G.[12] The film was released in January 2009 to mixed reviews[13] and went on to make over $43 million worldwide.[14] Lil' Kim has stated that she wasn't mad at Naughton who portrayed her and that she was mad at how they portrayed her.[15]

Naughton was cast as Denise, an aspiring singer, in the Lionsgate remake of the 1980 film of the same name Fame.[16] Filming took place in New York City and Los Angeles in November and December 2008. The film was released in September 2009 and opened No. 3 at the U.S. box office in its opening weekend despite negative reviews from critics.[17] The film went on to make $77 million worldwide.

In August 2010, Naughton was announced to appear in an episode of the AMC drama television series Mad Men.[18] Naughton portrays the role of Toni Charles, a Playboy Bunny mistress to the character Lane Pryce. The episode, "Hands and Knees", aired on September 26, 2010. The role marked the second time Naughton portrayed a fictional Playboy Bunny. That same month Naughton appeared in the Warner Bros. Pictures comedy film Lottery Ticket.

In March 2011, Naughton appeared in the drama television series pilot The Playboy Club which centers around the lives of the employees of the original Playboy Club operating in Chicago.[19] The series was picked up by NBC in May 2011.[20] Naughton portrayed the role of Brenda, a Playboy Bunny who dreams of being the first African-American Playboy centerfold.[21] The series premiered on September 19, 2011 and was cancelled after three episodes due to low ratings.[22]

In October 2011, Naughton appeared in an episode of the sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.[23] Naughton portrays the role of a 1970s jazz club singer named Shadynasty.

In December 2011, Naughton was announced to have been cast in the Lifetime drama television series The Client List opposite Jennifer Love Hewitt.[24] The series is a re-imagining of the 2010 film of the same name The Client List.[25] Naughton portrays the role of Kendra a hard-working masseuse at a parlor. The series premiered on April 8, 2012 to 2.79 million viewers[26] and mixed reviews from critics. In May 2012 Lifetime renewed the series for a 15-episode second season.[27]

In September 2012, Naughton starred in the BET original film Let The Church Say Amen which is adapted from author ReShonda Tate Billingsley's 2005 best-selling novel of the same name. The film was the directorial debut of actress Regina King.

Naughton starred in the Starz drama Power as Tasha St. Patrick, the wife of James "Ghost" St. Patrick played by Omari Hardwick, a New York nightclub owner living a double life as a drug kingpin. She won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, for the third season. She is set to reprise her role as Tasha in the spin-off series Power Book II: Ghost, which will begin airing in September 2020.

Personal lifeEdit

In March 2017, Naughton announced that she was expecting her first child.[28] She welcomed a daughter on July 19, 2017.[29]


  • Fame Presents Naturi Naughton as Denise: Didn't I Tell You (2010)



Year Title Role Notes
2008 Cash Rules Video
2009 Notorious Lil' Kim
2009 Fame Denise Dupree
2010 Lottery Ticket Stacie
2013 Highland Park Char
2018 Step Sisters Aisha Netflix film
TBA Emperor Sarah Green Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Taina Ria Guest with 3LW
2002 The Nick Cannon Show Herself Guest with 3LW
2002 All That Herself Music Guest with 3LW
2010 Mad Men Toni Charles Episode: "Hands and Knees"
2011 The Playboy Club Brenda Main role
2011 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Shadynasty Episode: "Frank's Brother"
2012 The Client List Kendra Main role (season 1)
2013 Let's Stay Together Sharon Episode: "Single Black Stacy"
2013 Let the Church Say Amen Rachel Jackson Television film
2014 The Eric Andre Show Herself Episode: "Naturi Naughton; Ryan Phillippe"
2014–2020 Power Tasha St. Patrick Main role (seasons 1–6)
2018 Queen of the South Sasha Bishop Episode: "La Muerte"
2020—2021 Power Book II: Ghost Tasha St. Patrick Main role (season 1)


Year Title Role Notes
2005–2008 Hairspray Little Inez Replacement


  1. ^ a b Williams, Kam (December 26, 2008). "Naturi Naughton: The Notorious Interview". Retrieved June 30, 2009.
  2. ^ Irizarry, Lisa (June 22, 2010). "Naturi Naughton goes from 'Notorious' to 'Lottery Ticket' but still keeps East Orange roots". Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  3. ^ Williams, Kam (September 20, 2009). "Naturi Naughton "Fame" Interview with Kam Williams". Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  4. ^ [1] Archived August 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Joe D'Angelo (October 11, 2002). "Ex-3LW Member Says Group Wanted To Pimp Her Out – Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  6. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (August 28, 2002). "3LW Members Say They Didn't Ask Naturi To Leave". MTV. Viacom International, Inc. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  7. ^ Jeff Bayer (August 25, 2009). "Fame – Complete Soundtrack Track Listing – The Scorecard Review".
  8. ^ 1 hr ago (April 20, 2011). "Yahoo! UK & Ireland omg! – Celebrity Gossip | Videos". Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  9. ^ "Fame Presents: Naturi Naughton As Denise: Various Artists: Music". Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  10. ^ "Fame presents Naturi Naughton as Denise: Didn't I Tell You: Naturi Naughton: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  11. ^ "Hairspray". Archived from the original on March 19, 2012.
  12. ^ Thoo, James (March 6, 2008). "Gravy for Biggie – Movie News".
  13. ^ "Notorious". Rotten Tomatoes.
  14. ^ "Notorious (2009) (2009)". Box Office Mojo. April 2, 2009.
  15. ^ "10 People Who Hated Their Own Biopics".
  16. ^ "Curious What's Up With the Remake of FAME?".
  17. ^ "Flores, Iacono, McGill, Naughton, Perez and More Cast in "Fame" Remake". Playbill. Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  18. ^ "Naturi Naughton Joins Mad Men Cast". Global Grind. August 17, 2010.
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 11, 2011). "Eddie Cibrian To Play The Lead In 'Playboy'". Deadline. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 6, 2011). "NBC Picks Up 1960s Playboy Drama To Pilot". Deadline. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  21. ^ Williams, Brennan (September 13, 2011). "Naturi Naughton Talks: 'The Playboy Club,' 'X-Men' Role, Return To Music Industry, And More". HuffPost. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  22. ^ Hibberd, James (October 4, 2011). "NBC cancels controversial Playboy Club". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on October 5, 2011. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  23. ^ Goldman, Eric. "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: "Frank's Brother" Review". IGN. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Naturi Naughton Joins Lifetime's 'Client List'". Deadline Hollywood.
  25. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Lifetime Greenlights 'The Client List' Series Starring & Produced By Jennifer Love Hewitt". Deadline Hollywood.
  26. ^ "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Game of Thrones' Leads + Atlanta 'Housewives,' 'Mad Men,' 'Khloe & Lamar,' 'Army Wives,' 'The Client List' & Much More – Ratings". TVbytheNumbers. April 12, 2012. Archived from the original on April 13, 2012.
  27. ^ "Lifetime Renews The Client List – Today's News: Our Take". May 7, 2012.
  28. ^ Booth, Alli (March 22, 2017). "Naturi Naughton Is Pregnant With Her First Child". Us Weekly. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  29. ^ Bautch, Hillary (July 20, 2017). "'Power' Star Naturi Naughton Welcomes Baby Girl". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved February 25, 2020.

External linksEdit