Didn't become serious about pursuing a music career until her junior year in college, when she began singing in clubs up and down the East Coast.
Scored five No. 1 R&B hits from 1975 to '77, including her debut single "This Will Be." Found similar success on the album front, with her first five LPs achieving either gold or platinum status.
Topped the pop album charts in 1991 with Unforgettable: With Love, on which she covered many of her dad's classic songs.
Underwent a kidney transplant in 2009, which led her to become a spokesperson for the University Kidney Research Organization.
Involved with Tune In to Hep C, a public health campaign educating people about hepatitis C (which she had and overcame).
Wrote two memoirs: Angel on My Shoulder (2000), about her life, career and battles with drug dependency; and Love Brought Me Back (2009), about her kidney problems, the donor whose death gave her life and her sister Carole "Cookie" King.