Born Michelle Johnson in Berlin, Germany, Meshell Ndegeocello grew up in Washington, D.C. After studying music for a while at Howard University, she settled in New York City in the early 1990s. The artist auditioned for several bands, including Living Colour, and joined the Black Rock Coalition before embarking on a solo career. Released in 1993 on Madonna's Maverick label, Plantation Lullabies showcased Ndegeocello's numerous talents. A gifted bass player, she also proved an ambitious singer-songwriter, with musical tastes ranging from funk to hip-hop, or jazz to pop. Over the years, she has recorded several albums and collaborated with the Rolling Stones, Alanis Morissette, John Mellencamp, and Pat Metheny, among others.