b. Thomassina Carrollyne Smith, The Bronx, New York, U.S.A.
d. 28th January 2020, U.S.A.
Tonni Smith hails from New York and has been singing since the age of six.
At eleven years of age, she was entering school contests and was in her first band at the age of 13.
The group were called the Lyndell Experience, who played at various public schools.
After leaving the group, Tonni joined another group called The Bronkz.
The new group gave her her first opportunity at penning songs herself.
By the time she was 18 years of age, Tonni received her first big break when she joined the group The Crystals.
It was around this time that she was first introduced to Tom Browne, who took an interest in her after hearing some of her compositions.
In 1980, Tonni became the co-writer and lead singer on Tom Browne's 'Funkin' For Jamaica', taken from his 'Love Approach' album outing.
'Funkin' For Jamaica' made the U.K. Top 10 singles charts.
Whilst working with Browne, Tonni penned two other compositions, 'Thighs High' and 'Let's Dance' for two subsequent Browne recordings.
Tonni then recorded with several artists and released the single 'Ooh I Like The Way It Feels' for the Malaco label in 1983.
A further single followed in 1986, entitled 'Can't Stop This Feelin' for the Lisson Records label.
Tonni's solo composition 'I've Got The Hots For You' was also utilized by S-Express on their UK No. 1 hit 'Theme From S-Express' in 1988.
Tonni is a self taught pianist and she has worked with various artists including Stephanie Mills, Meli'sa Morgan, James Ingram, Gavin Christopher ('Once You Get Started' on the 'One Step Closer' album) and Lenny Underwood (of the group Unlimited Touch).
She has provided vocals for the artists Bob Baldwin and Lesette Wilson (on her 'Unmasked' outing from 1993).
A solo album project was due in March 2002.
Tonni passed away in January 2020.