Puff Johnson

Ewanya "Puff" Johnson (December 10, 1972 – June 24, 2013) was an American R&B singer-songwriter. Born in Detroit, she emerged on the music scene with her singles "Forever More" and "Over and Over", which experienced commercial success in Europe and Australia. These songs comprised her only album Miracle (1996). In the early- to mid-2000s, she was listed as a co-writer on several projects and relocated to South Africa where she began working on an unreleased second album. However, in March 2008 Johnson was diagnosed with cervical cancer and subsequently, 6 years later on June 24, 2013 died of the disease.[1]

Puff Johnson
Birth nameEwanya Johnson
Born(1972-12-10)December 10, 1972
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
DiedJune 24, 2013(2013-06-24) (aged 40)
GenresR&B, CCM
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter

Early lifeEdit

Johnson, the daughter of Mack Johnson, Jr. and wife Marie,[2] was born on December 10, 1972, in Detroit, Michigan and raised in Los Angeles, California.[3] A singer and dancer with formal voice training, she attended High School for the Performing Arts at California State University.[4] At age 13, Johnson signed her first recording deal with Motown Records, but eventually decided against recording at the time because of the commitment involved.[4] Three years later, she became an assistant choreographer after working on the music video for the New Kids on the Block song "Step by Step" and was hired as a background vocalist for Christopher Williams and R&B trio The Good Girls.[4]


In 1994, Johnson performed the song "What Child Is This" on the Christmas compilation Joyful Christmas,[4] followed by the Donny Hathaway cover "Someday We'll All Be Free" which appeared on soundtrack for The Promised Land.[4] In 1995, she appeared on rapper Tupac Shakur's song "Me Against the World", which was featured on the Bad Boys movie soundtrack and appeared on his album Me Against The World.[5] A year later, she signed with Work Group and intensified work on her debut album Miracle (1996). The album was predeced by first single "Forever More", produced by Narada Michael Walden, which achieved its biggest success in New Zealand where it reached number five on the charts. [3] Another single, "Over and Over," appeared on the soundtrack of the comedy film The First Wives Club (1996) and became a hit in Europe and Australia, particularly in Norway and United Kingdom, where it entered the top ten and the top 20, respectively.[6][7] Miracle, executive produced by Randy Jackson, peaked at number seven on the Norwegian Albums Chart and entered the top thirty in the Netherlands.[7][8]

In 1997, Johnson toured Europe as an opening act for Michael Jackson and 3T.[5] She did not release any further material and slipped out of the limelight.[5] However, in the early- to mid-200s, she was listed as a co-writer on several projects, including Pam & Dodi's self-titled Geffen Records debut, rapper I-20's debut studio album Self Explanatory (2004) and three tracks on singer Leela James's debut album A Change Is Gonna Come.[9] Following a concert in Johannesburg, Johnson lived in South Africa beginning in January 2009.[5] There, she began work on her second album with local label Ghetto Ruff Records owner Lance Stehr, with whom she finished several songs before moving to Limpopo wo work with advocate Tumi Mokwena, who worked with Johnson at his stable TMP Records.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Johnson was engaged to music producer Alarza Lee "Kip" Collins Jr., who died in a motorcycle crash in 2006.[1] She was later involved with singer Ishmael Morabe, who she met in a studio in South Africa. They dated for almost two years in South Africa, before she had to leave South Africa due to her visa not having proper documentation. They continued a long-distance relationship following her departure.[10]

Johnson was diagnosed with cervical cancer in March 2008.[11] She died of the disease on June 24, 2013, aged 40 years old.[12][1]


Studio albumsEdit

Title Album details Peak positions
  • Released: May 28, 1996
  • Label: Work
  • Formats: CD, cassette
61 28 7


List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Forever More" 1996 63 31 29 29 91 Miracle
"All Over Your Face" 57
"Over and Over" 118 114 20 29 20 10 The First Wives Club soundtrack

Other recorded songsEdit

Title Year Album Note(s)
"What Child Is This" 1994 Joyful Christmas
"Someday We'll All Be Free" 1995 The Promised Land
"Me Against The World" Me Against The World

2Pac featuring Puff Johnson

"I Like It" 1996 Forever More – Single


"Never Loved Nobody"


"That's When You'll Know" Miracle

Bonus track exclusive to Japan

"All That's On My Mind" "Over & Over" – single


"Baby Can You Feel It"

B-side. Also included on the Australian edition of Miracle.

"Feel So Good" 1997 This Time It's Personal

Somethin' for the People featuring Puff Johnson

"Your Love" 1998 N/A

Featuring Rampage. Unreleased song.

"U Can Call" 2002 Better Dayz

2Pac featuring Puff Johnson. Released on 2Pac's posthumous release Better Dayz.

"All I Want Is You" N/A


  1. ^ a b c "Puff Johnson succumbs to a battle with cervical cancer". sowetanlive.co.za. June 25, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  2. ^ "Wuff, The Magic Singer". Billboard . May 30, 1992. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955–2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Work Group's Puff Johnson Creating A Romantic 'Miracle'". Billboard . April 20, 1996. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e "R&B singer Puff Johnson dies after battle with cervical cancer". Sunday Times. June 25, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Roberts, David (2003). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 287. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ a b c d "Puff Johnson discography". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Puff Johnson discografie". dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  9. ^ A Change Is Gonna Come. Leela James . Warner Bros. Records. 2005.CS1 maint: others (link)
  10. ^ "Catching Up With Ishmael 'Ish' Morabe". Bona. July 2, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  11. ^ Ndlovu, Andile (June 26, 2013). "Puff loses cancer battle". Sunday Times. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  12. ^ "RnB Singer Puff Johnson Dies of Cervical Cancer". The Public News Hub. Publicnewshub.com. June 2, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  13. ^ "Puff Johnson – Chart history". Billboard. June 1, 1996. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  14. ^ Steffen Hung (August 1, 1996). "Puff Johnson". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  15. ^ Steffen Hung. "Puff Johnson". Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved July 25, 2017.