William Thomas Medley is an American singer and songwriter, best known as one half of The Righteous Brothers. He is noted for his bass-baritone voice, exemplified in songs such as "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'". Medley produced a number of the duo's songs, including "Unchained Melody" and "Soul and Inspiration". Medley is a successful solo artist, his million-selling #1 duet with Jennifer Warnes " The Time of My Life" won a number of awards. Medley was born on September 1940 in Santa Ana, California, to Arnol and Irma Medley, he attended Santa Ana High School and graduated in 1958. Medley was started singing in a church choir, his parents had a swing band. He became interested in R&B music listening to black music radio stations. An early influence he cited is Little Richard who he first heard when he was fifteen or sixteen years old, Ray Charles, Bobby Bland, B. B. King. Medley first formed a singing duo called The Romancers with his friend Don Fiduccia, who played the guitar, he began to record multi-track recordings in his living room.
At 19, he had two songs, "Womaling" and "Chimes of My Heart", recorded by vocal group The Diamonds. Medley and Fiduccia formed a group called The Paramours in 1960 with Sal Fasulo and Nick Tuturro joined by Mike Rider and Barry Rillera; the band had their first paying gig at Little Italy restaurant in Anaheim. The Paramours were signed to Mercury Records' subsidiary label Smash Records, released songs such as "That's The Way We Love" and "Miss Social Climber" in 1961. Medley first met his singing partner Bobby Hatfield through Barry Rillera, in both Hatfield's and Medley's group and asked them to see each other's show. In 1962, they formed a new group, but kept the name Paramours, which included saxophone player John Wimber who went on to found The Vineyard Church movement, they performed at The Black Derby nightclub in Santa Ana, released a single "There She Goes" in December 1962 with a small record label Moonglow. However, the band did not have much success and soon broke up, leaving Hatfield and Medley to perform as a duo in 1963.
Medley and Hatfield adopted the name The Righteous Brothers, their first single was the Medley-penned "Little Latin Lupe Lu" released under the label Moonglow Records. Medley recorded as a solo artist with Moonglow, released a single "Gotta Tell You How I Feel" which did not chart. In 1964, The Righteous Brothers appeared in a show with other groups in the Cow Palace in San Francisco where Phil Spector was conducting the band for the entire show. Spector was arranged to have them record for his own label Philles Records. In 1965, they had their first No. 1 hit, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", produced by Phil Spector. According to music publishing watchdog Broadcast Music, Inc. "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" is the most-played song in the history of American radio. They recorded other songs such as "Unchained Melody" with Philles Records. Medley, who had produced the duo before they signed with Spector and Philles, was the actual producer on many tracks and'B' sides credited to Spector, including "Unchained Melody", intended to be an album track.
On singles such as "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" and "Just Once in My Life", the vocals were concentrated on Medley, but on a few singles, such as "Unchained Melody" and "Ebb Tide", Hatfield performed solo. The duo left Spector in 1966 to sign with Verve Records where they had a hit with "Soul and Inspiration", but broke up in 1968 when Medley left to pursue his own career. Medley was performing three shows a night in Las Vegas. Under advice, he sought out Hatfield to reform The Righteous Brothers in 1974, they signed with Haven Records recorded "Rock and Roll Heaven" which became a hit. In 1976, Medley decided to quit music for some time after the death of his first wife, he reunited with Hatfield in 1981 for the 30th special of American Bandstand, where they performed an updated version of "Rock and Roll Heaven". Although Medley focused his attention on his solo career in the 1980s, they continued to appear together as a duo. After a resurgence in popularity in 1990s due to the use of "Unchained Melody" in the film Ghost, they toured extensively as a duo until Hatfield's death in November 2003.
The Righteous Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2003 by Billy Joel. Medley had a moderately successful solo career. In 1968, Medley first recorded "I Can't Make It Alone" written by Carole King, but the song failed to make much of an impact; the following singles, "Brown Eyed Woman" written by Mann and Weil, "Peace, Peace", both performed better and were Top 40 Pop hits. In 1969, he won 2nd place at the Festival Internacional da Canção in Rio de Janeiro, with the song "Evie", by Jimmy Webb. Medley performed "Hey Jude" at the 1969 Grammy Awards, was signed to A&M Records which released a number of his records. One of his recordings, "Freedom and Fear" from Michel Colombier's album Wings, was nominated for a Grammy in 1972. Medley released several solo albums during the 1970s and 1980s, enjoyed a resurgence in his career in the 1980s, he released an album, Sweet Thunder in 1980, containing a version of "Don't Know Much", written and performed by Barry Mann the same year.
He signed with Planet Records in 1982 and with RCA Records. In 1984 and 1985, he charted five singles on the country charts with the biggest of these being the Top 20 country hit, "I Still Do," which crossed over to the adult contemporary charts and
James Joseph Brown was an American singer, dancer, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th-century music and dance, he is referred to as the "Godfather of Soul". In a career that lasted 50 years, he influenced the development of several music genres. Brown began his career as a gospel singer in Georgia, he joined an R&B vocal group, the Gospel Starlighters founded by Bobby Byrd, in which he was the lead singer. First coming to national public attention in the late 1950s as a member of the singing group The Famous Flames with the hit ballads "Please, Please" and "Try Me", Brown built a reputation as a tireless live performer with the Famous Flames and his backing band, sometimes known as the James Brown Band or the James Brown Orchestra, his success peaked in the 1960s with the live album Live at the Apollo and hit singles such as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", "I Got You" and "It's a Man's Man's Man's World". During the late 1960s, Brown moved from a continuum of blues and gospel-based forms and styles to a profoundly "Africanized" approach to music-making that influenced the development of funk music.
By the early 1970s, Brown had established the funk sound after the formation of the J. B.s with records such as "Get Up Sex Machine" and "The Payback". He became noted for songs of social commentary, including the 1968 hit "Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud". Brown continued to perform and record until his death from pneumonia in 2006. Brown was inducted into 1st class of the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2013 as an artist and in 2017 as a songwriter. Brown recorded 17 singles, he holds the record for the most singles listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart which did not reach No. 1. Brown has received honors from many institutions, including inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In Joel Whitburn's analysis of the Billboard R&B charts from 1942 to 2010, Brown is ranked No. 1 in The Top 500 Artists. He is ranked No. 7 on Rolling Stone's list of its 100 greatest artists of all time. Rolling Stone has cited Brown as the most sampled artist of all time.
Brown was born on May 3, 1933, in Barnwell, South Carolina, to 16-year-old Susie née Behling, 22-year-old Joseph Gardner Brown, in a small wooden shack. Brown's name was supposed to have been Joseph James Brown Jr. but his first and middle names were mistakenly reversed on his birth certificate. He legally changed his name to remove "Jr." In his autobiography, Brown stated that he had Chinese and Native American ancestry. The Brown family lived in extreme poverty in Elko, South Carolina, an impoverished town at the time, they moved to Augusta, when James was four or five. His family first settled at one of his aunts' brothels, they moved into a house shared with another aunt. Brown's mother left the family after a contentious and abusive marriage and moved to New York. Brown spent long stretches of time on his own, hustling to get by, he managed to stay in school until the sixth grade. He began singing in talent shows as a young child, first appearing at Augusta's Lenox Theater in 1944, winning the show after singing the ballad "So Long".
While in Augusta, Brown performed buck dances for change to entertain troops from Camp Gordon at the start of World War II as their convoys traveled over a canal bridge near his aunt's home. He learned to play the piano and harmonica during this period, he became inspired to become an entertainer after hearing "Caldonia" by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five. In his teen years, Brown had a career as a boxer. At the age of 16, he was sent to a juvenile detention center in Toccoa. There, he formed a gospel quartet including Johnny Terry. Brown met singer Bobby Byrd when the two played against each other in a baseball game outside the detention center. Byrd discovered that Brown could sing, after hearing of "a guy called Music Box", Brown's musical nickname at the prison. Byrd has since claimed he and his family helped to secure an early release, which led to Brown promising the court he would "sing for the Lord". Brown was paroled on June 14, 1952. Shortly thereafter, he joined the gospel group, the Ever-Ready Gospel Singers, featuring Byrd's sister Sarah.
Brown joined Byrd's group in 1954. The group had evolved from the Gospel Starlighters, an a cappella gospel group, to an R&B group with the name the Avons, he reputedly joined the band after one of Troy Collins, died in a car crash. Along with Brown and Byrd, the group consisted of Sylvester Keels, Doyle Oglesby, Fred Pulliam, Nash Knox and Nafloyd Scott. Influenced by R&B groups such as Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, the Orioles and Billy Ward and His Dominoes, the group changed its name, first to the Toccoa Band and to the Flames. Nafloyd's brother Baroy joined the group on bass guitar, Brown and Keels switched lead positions and instruments playing drums and piano. Johnny Terry joined, by which time Pulliam and Oglesby had long left. Berry Trimier became the group's first manager, booking them at parties near college campuses in Georgia and South Carolina; the group had gained a reputation as a good live act when they renamed themselves the Famous Flames. In 1955, the group had contacted Little Richard while performing in Macon.
Judith A. Henske is an American singer and songwriter, once known as "the Queen of the Beatniks". Henske attended Notre Dame Grade School and Notre Dame-McDonell Memorial High School, Rosary College, River Forest, before studying at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, she worked in the office at Oberlin College, before moving to Philadelphia, where she worked as a cook in a Quaker co-operative. Around 1959, she relocated to San Diego, where she lived on a sloop in the yacht basin, she began singing in coffee houses in Pacific Beach, San Diego, Los Angeles, where she worked with, among others, Lenny Bruce. She moved on to Oklahoma City, before joining ex-Kingston Trio member Dave Guard and the Whiskeyhill Singers around 1961 in Menlo Park, recording an album. After the Whiskey Hill Singers disbanded, she returned to Hollywood, she got a big boost. Henske appeared as a performer in the 1963 exploitation movie Hootenanny Hoot at the height of the folk-music craze and performed memorable versions of "The Ballad of Little Romy" and "Wade in the Water".
She performed "God Bless the Child" on an early episode of The Judy Garland Show, was offered a regular role on the show but turned it down. Through her manager, Herb Cohen, she gained the attention of Jac Holzman and Elektra Records, for whom she made two solo albums; the first of these highlighted the offbeat humor in her live performances with musical arrangements by Onzy Matthews. During this time she worked extensively in New York as a solo singer, shared the stage with Woody Allen, among others, her relationship with Allen is said to have informed the script of Annie Hall, a character from Chippewa Falls like Henske. Henske married musician Jerry Yester in 1963, continued to work, appearing in Anita Loos' musical "Gogo Loves You" in Greenwich Village in 1964 at the Theatre de Lys, in which her performance was praised as "utterly delightful," as well as singing at many New York and East Coast clubs. Henske said: "I liked when people were engaged, they show it with laughter and not just clapping.
It didn't sound like people just admiring you. It was alive." After a failed attempt in the mid-60s by Mercury Records to present her as an all-round entertainer and Yester moved back to Laurel Canyon before returning to the East Coast when Yester joined The Lovin' Spoonful. In 1969, she returned to music with Yester, making the baroque / psychedelic folk album Farewell Aldebaran for Frank Zappa’s Straight Records; the pair formed a band, making another album before they separated and Henske returned to domestic life with musician Craig Doerge. Henske retired from the stage, but continued to write songs, she returned to performing in the 1990s, releasing two subsequent albums Loose In the World and She Sang California. In February 2007, Rhino Records issued a limited edition 2-CD compilation set of her recordings, Big Judy: How Far This Music Goes, covering her entire career, she appears in the 2011 documentary film Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune, which chronicles the life and career of folksinger Phil Ochs, with whom she was part of the early sixties' Greenwich Village folk music scene.
Henske and Doerge now live in Pasadena, where they have continued to write and record. Henske was noted by music writers for her strong, bluesy emotive facial expression. Crime writer Andrew Vachss has promoted her music in some of his novels. In Blue Belle, he says: "If Linda Ronstadt's a torch singer, Henske's a flame thrower." Coffee House, 1959 various artists - 4 Henske tracks. Dave Guard and the Whiskeyhill Singers, 1962 How the West Was Won The Original Hootenanny, 1963 Crestview was a Division of Elektra Records. One track: Wade in the Water, recorded live. Judy Henske, 1963 High Flying Bird, 1964 Little Bit of Sunshine… Little Bit of Rain, 1965 The Death Defying Judy Henske, 1966 Farewell Aldebaran, 1969 Rosebud, 1971 Loose in the World, 1999 She Sang California, 2004 Big Judy: How Far This Music Goes, 1962-2004 2007 "That's Enough" / "Oh, Didn't He Ramble," 1962. Credited to Judy Hart Rider! 1963 The Kingston Trio album Sunny Side "I Know You Rider" / "Love Henry," 1963 "Charlotte Town" / "High Flying Bird," 1963 "Til The Real Thing Comes Along" / "Lonely Train," 1963 "Crazy He Calls Me" / "Baby," 1965 "Bye-Bye Blackbird / "Let The Good Times Roll" 1966 "Road to Nowhere" / "Sing A Rainbow," 1966 "Day To Day" / "Dolphins In The Sea," 1966 Official website Fan site Discography at fan site IMDB entry provided by Henske, 13 April 2008 Interview by Richie Unterberger Big Judy – liner notes by Barry Alfonso
Chuck Jackson is an American R&B singer, one of the first artists to record material by Burt Bacharach and Hal David successfully. He has performed with moderate success since 1961, his hits include "I Don't Want to Cry," "Any Day Now," "I Keep Forgettin'", "All Over the World". He was born in Latta, South Carolina, raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Between 1957 and 1959, he was a member of The Del-Vikings, singing lead on the 1957 release "Willette." After leaving them, he was "discovered" by Luther Dixon when he opened for Jackie Wilson at the Apollo Theater. He signed a recording contract with Scepter Records subsidiary Wand Records. "I Don't Want to Cry," his first single, which he co-wrote and recorded in November 1960, was his first hit. The song charted on both the pop charts. In 1962, Jackson's recording of the Burt Bacharach-Bob Hilliard song "Any Day Now" became a huge hit and his signature song, his popularity in the 1960s prompted him to buy the time on his contract from Scepter and move to Motown Records.
There he recorded a number of successful singles, including "Honey Come Back." He recorded for All Platinum and other labels, but with minimal success. After meeting producer/composer Charles Wallert at the Third Annual Beach Music Awards, the two collaborated to record "How Long Have You Been Loving Me" on Carolina Records. In 1998, Jackson teamed with longtime friend Dionne Warwick to record "If I Let Myself Go", arranged as a duet by Wallert for Wave Entertainment; the recording received critical acclaim and charted at number 19 on the Gavin Adult Contemporary Charts. Jackson followed with "What Goes Around, Comes Around", another Wallert production and composition, reached number 13 on the Gavin Charts. Several of Jackson's songs became hits for other artists, including Ronnie Milsap, whose 1982 cover version of "Any Day Now" reached #1 on the Country and Adult Contemporary charts, Michael McDonald, who covered "I Keep Forgettin'" with much success. "I Keep Forgettin'" was covered by David Bowie in his album Tonight, a version produced by Phil Spector for the Checkmates, Ltd..
Jackson was close friends with political strategist Lee Atwater. He appears in the documentary Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story. Australian pop-rock band Big Pig recorded a cover to "I Can't Break Away" titled "Breakaway", used as the opening theme to the 1989 film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure; the song was covered in 2007 by house music singer Inaya Day. On 4 October 2015, Chuck Jackson was inducted into the Official Blues Music Hall of Fame, his song "Hand it over" was featured on the 2019 Video Game Far Cry New Dawn Albums 1962: I Don't Want to Cry! 1962: Any Day Now 1963: Encore! 1964: Chuck Jackson on Tour 1965: Mr. Everything 1965: Saying Something, with Maxine Brown 1966: A Tribute to Rhythm and Blues 1966: A Tribute to Rhythm and Blues, Volume 2 1966: Dedicated to the King 1967: Greatest Hits 1967: Hold On, We're Coming, with Maxine Brown 1967: The Early Show, with Tammi Terrell 1968: Chuck Jackson Arrives 1969: Goin' Back to Chuck Jackson 1970: Teardrops Keep Falling on My Heart 1974: Through All Times 1975: Needing You, Wanting You 1977: The Great Chuck Jackson 1980: After You 1980: I Wanna Give You Some Love 1994: Chuck Jackson 1994: Encore/Mr.
Everything 1998: Smooth, Smooth Jackson 2005: I'll Take Care of You, with Cissy Houston, re-issue of the 1992 albumSingles on Tamla Motown TMG651 "Girls Girls Girls" / " The Man in You" - 7" TMG729 "Honey Come Back" / "What Am I Gonna Do Without You" - 7" 1992: Rhythm and Blues Foundation, Pioneer Award 2009: Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame, Joe Pope Pioneer Award Chuck Jackson - official website Chuck Jackson speaks about Lee Atwater in Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story Chuck Jackson -Pittsburgh Music History
Percy Tyrone Sledge was an American R&B, soul and gospel singer. He is best known for the song "When a Man Loves a Woman", a No. 1 hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts in 1966. It was awarded a million-selling, Gold-certified disc from the RIAA. Having worked as a hospital orderly in the early 1960s, Sledge achieved his strongest success in the late 1960s and early 1970s with a series of emotional soul songs. In years, Sledge received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's Career Achievement Award, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Sledge was born on November 1941, in Leighton, Alabama, he worked in a series of agricultural jobs in the fields in Leighton before taking a job as an orderly at Colbert County Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama. Through the mid-1960s, he toured the Southeast with the Esquires Combo on weekends, while working at the hospital during the week. A former patient and mutual friend of Sledge and record producer Quin Ivy introduced the two.
An audition followed, Sledge was signed to a recording contract. Sledge's soulful voice was perfect for the series of soul ballads produced by Ivy and Marlin Greene, which rock critic Dave Marsh called "emotional classics for romantics of all ages". "When a Man Loves a Woman" was Sledge's first song recorded under the contract, was released in March 1966. According to Sledge, the inspiration for the song came when his girlfriend left him for a modelling career after he was laid off from a construction job in late 1965, because bassist Calvin Lewis and organist Andrew Wright helped him with the song, he gave all the songwriting credits to them, it went on to become an international hit. When a Man Loves a Woman" was a hit twice in the UK, reaching No. 4 in 1966 and, on reissue, peaked at No. 2 in 1987. The song was the first gold record released by Atlantic Records; the soul anthem became the cornerstone of Sledge's career, was followed by "Warm and Tender Love", "It Tears Me Up", "Take Time to Know Her", "Love Me Tender", "Cover Me".
Sledge charted with "I'll Be Your Everything" and "Sunshine" during the 1970s, became an international concert favorite throughout the world in the Netherlands, on the African continent. Sledge's career enjoyed a renaissance in the 1980s when "When a Man Loves a Woman" re-entered the UK Singles Chart, peaking at No. 2 behind the reissued Ben E. King classic "Stand by Me", after being used in a Levi's commercial. In the early 1990s, Michael Bolton brought "When a Man Loves a Woman" back into the limelight again on his hit album Time, Love, & Tenderness. On the week of November 17 to November 23, 1991, Bolton's version hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart 25½ years to the week after Percy's did in 1966. In 1994, Saul Davis and Barry Goldberg produced Sledge's album, Blue Night, for Philippe Le Bras' Sky Ranch label and Virgin Records, it featured Bobby Womack, Steve Cropper, Mick Taylor among others. Blue Night received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album, Vocal or Instrumental, in 1996 it won the W.
C. Handy Award for best blues album. In 2004, Davis and Goldberg produced the Shining Through the Rain album, which preceded his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Songs on the CD were written by Mikael Rickfors, Steve Earle, the Bee Gees, Carla Olson, Denny Freeman, Allan Clarke and Jackie Lomax; the same year Percy recorded a live album with his band Sunset Drive entitled Percy Sledge and Sunset Drive – Live in Virginia on WRM Records produced by Warren Rodgers. In May 2007, Percy was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame in his home city of Baton Rouge, LA. In December 2010, Rhino Handmade issued a four-CD retrospective, The Atlantic Recordings, which covers all of the issued Atlantic masters, as well as many of the tracks unissued in the United States. In 2011 Sledge toured with Sir Cliff Richard during his Soulicious tour, performing "I'm Your Puppet". Sledge married twice and was survived by his second wife, Rosa Sledge, whom he married in 1980, he had 12 children. Sledge died of liver cancer at his home in Baton Rouge on April 14, 2015, at the age of 73.
His interment was in Baton Rouge's Heavenly Gates Cemetery. Sledge was: An inaugural Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award honoree in 1989. Inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1993; the recipient of the Blues Music Award in 1996 for best Soul/Blues album of the year with his record Blue Night. Inducted into the Carolina Beach Music Hall Of Fame in November 2004. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame for his contributions by the State of Louisiana in May 2007. Inducted into the Delta Music Museum in Ferriday, Louisiana. 1994 "I Wish It Would Rain" duet with Mikael Rickfors produced by Saul Davis & Barry Goldberg 1994 "You Got Away with Love" / "Why Did You Stop?" produced by Saul Davis & Barry Goldberg Sledge is sometimes cited as the inspiration behind the Australian language term "to sledge", meaning "to put someone off their game", first used in Test cricket, though the phrase more derives from "subtle as a sledgehammer".
Percy Sledge on IMDb Percy Sledge at AllMusic Percy Sledge discography at Discogs "Percy Sledge". Find a G
Lorraine Toussaint is a Trinidadian-American actress and producer. Toussaint began her career in theatre before supporting performances in films such as Breaking In, Hudson Hawk, Dangerous Minds; as lead actress, she is best known for her role as Rene Jackson in the critically acclaimed Lifetime television drama series Any Day Now, from 1998 to 2002, her recurring role as defense attorney Shambala Green in the NBC legal drama Law & Order. Toussaint appeared as a regular cast member in the NBC police procedural Crossing Jordan and the TNT crime drama Saving Grace. Toussaint has made over 30 guest appearances on television, starred in a number of made-for-television movies, had recurring roles in Ugly Betty, Friday Night Lights, Body of Proof, The Fosters, she co-starred in the ABC fantasy-drama series Forever, co-starred in the Fox comedy-drama Rosewood. Toussaint received critical acclaim and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her performance in the 2012 drama film Middle of Nowhere and directed by Ava DuVernay.
In 2014, she played the role of Yvonne "Vee" Parker, the main antagonist in the second season of the Netflix comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black, for which she received critical acclaim and a Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She played the role of Amelia Boynton Robinson in the 2014 historical drama film Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay. Toussaint was born in Tobago. In an interview she said: "I grew up under the British system, which I think is horrific for children -- very strict -- a system that did not recognize children as being individuals. You were small animals earning the right to be human. Childhood for me felt extraordinarily powerless, as an artistic child who learned in alternative ways, it was hell. I was beaten regularly... A good child was a fearful child, I was a very, good little girl, which meant I lived in a world of silent, dark terror most of the time." Her mother was a teacher, brought Toussaint to live in Brooklyn in the late 1960s.
Toussaint graduated from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts in 1978. She attended the Juilliard School's drama division as a member of Group 11, where her classmates in 1982 included Megan Gallagher, Penny Johnson Jerald, Jack Kenny, Jack Stehlin. Toussaint graduated from Juilliard with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, she began her career as Shakespearean actress before tackling screen acting in television and film. Toussaint made her screen debut in 1983. In 1986 she played the role of widow of a man shot and killed by Boston cops in the television film A Case of Deadly Force based on the book by Lawrence O'Donnell, she had a recurring role of Vera Williams in the ABC daytime soap opera, One Life to Live, alongside stage career appeared in guest starring roles in series like 227 and Law & Order, acted in a number of television films in the 1990s. Toussaint has made her film debut in the female lead role opposite Burt Reynolds in the crime comedy Breaking In; the film flopped in box office.
In 1991 she appeared opposite Bruce Willis in Hudson Hawk, co-starred alongside Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds. She appeared in films Point of No Return, Mother's Boys, Black Dog. On television, Toussaint had regular roles in short-lived series Bodies of Evidence, Where I Live, Amazing Grace, Leaving L. A.. Toussaint had her biggest and leading role alongside Annie Potts in the Lifetime first original television drama series, Any Day Now, she starred in show as a successful African-American lawyer. The series has received critical acclaim for Toussaint's and Potts' acting performances and writing, but never had big ratings. In 2001, Toussaint was a promising contender for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category, though she did not receive a nomination, she was nominated five times for a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her role. Any Day Now ended after 88 episodes. From 2002 to 2004, Toussaint had regular role of Dr. Elaine Duchamps in the NBC police procedural, Crossing Jordan.
In years she guest-starred on Frasier, Judging Amy, The Closer, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, ER, NCIS. She was regular opposite Holly Hunter in the TNT crime drama Saving Grace as Capt. Kate Perry from 2007 to 2010, she had a recurring roles of Amelia'Yoga' Bluman in the ABC comedy series Ugly Betty in 2006, as Bird Merriweather in the NBC drama Friday Night Lights. Toussaint appeared as Jamie Foxx's character's mother in the 2009 drama The Soloist. In 2012, Toussaint received critical acclaim and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female for her performance as a hardworking mother who struggles to support her daughter's decision to put her life on hold to support her incarcerated husband, of Middle of Nowhere, a drama film written and directed by Ava DuVernay. Toussaint was a promising contender for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress category in 2013, but she did not receive a nomination. In 2012, she guest-starred in Shonda Rhimes' dramas Grey's Anatomy as doctor, on Scandal, as a bereaved and betrayed pastor's wife.
In 2013, she had a recurring role in season 3 of Dana Delany's series Body of Proof as Angela Martin, the new police chief and main villain. In 2013, she joined the cast of ABC Family drama series, The Fosters, as Sherri Saum's character mother. In