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Taral Hicks (born September 21, 1974 in The Bronx, New York) is an African-American actress, musician and sister of singer D'Atra Hicks.



Hicks graduated in 1993 from Grace Dodge Vocational High School in Bronx, New York.[1]

Hicks began her film career with a role alongside Robert De Niro in the 1993 film A Bronx Tale. Her subsequent film roles were small, 1995's Just Cause with Sean Connery and Laurence Fishburne, 1996's Educating Matt Waters and The Preacher's Wife with Whitney Houston. It wasn't until 1997 in the HBO original film Subway Stories that audiences began to take notice. As the "Woman with Flowers" who sang to her mother on the payphone, her performance was widely deemed to be one of the best in the film. In 1998, she was also involved in the Hype Williams-directed gangster film "Belly," which featured hip-hop stars Nas, DMX, Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Method Man. She was also featured in the 2002 video "Put That Woman First" by R&B singer Jaheim as his girlfriend.

Hicks signed a deal with Motown Records and released an album entitled This Time. The single "Ooh, Ooh Baby," produced and written by, and featuring Missy Elliott, charted on the Billboard R&B singles chart. However, the lead single intended to debut her singing career was Distant Lover, an uptempo track produced by Teddy Riley. The album didn't take off until the second single, Silly, a remake of the classic R&B hit by Deniece Williams was released. Featuring a black-and-white video directed by Hype Williams, the single charted successfully.

After collaborating on the video for Silly, Hype Williams cast Hicks in his directorial film debut, 1998's Belly as Kisha, DMX's abused girlfriend. The video for Silly appeared in one of the film's scenes. It wasn't until 2000 that Hicks appeared again on screen in the short film Are You Cinderella? with actor Wood Harris. Two television guest roles followed: 2002's 100 Centre Street in the episode titled Fathers, and in a 2003 episode of Soul Food: The Series titled The New Math.

Further projects for Hicks included 2005's The Salon with Vivica A. Fox, Dondré Whitfield and Darren DeWitt Henson, and Forbidden Fruits with Ella Joyce, Fredro Starr and R&B singer Keith Sweat.

Taral Hicks will be appearing in the Soul Kittens Cabaret, which also includes ex-Brownstone singer Nicci Gilbert, R&B singer Monifah, TonDalaya Gallant, Sara Stokes and Demetria McKinney. The musical journey of the Soul Kittens Cabaret begins in Harlem during the 1920s, then moves through the Motown era, with stops in the '70s and '80s. It concludes with original hits from the Soul Kittens Cabaret soundtrack.

She is currently married to Loren Dawson, with whom she has a son, and lives a quiet life in North Jersey where she is teaching, while not being too far geographically from her showbiz roots.

Chart positions



Year Album Peak Position'
Billboard Hot 200 Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
1997 This Time - -


Year Song Peak Position
Billboard Hot 100 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks
1996 "Ooh, Ooh Baby" (featuring Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott) - 81
1997 "Distant Lover" - 60
1998 "Silly" 104[2] 54
"How Can I Get Over You" - -


  1. ^ Beckerman, Jim. "WHERE STARS ARE BORN", The Record (Bergen County), August 19, 2000. Accessed July 3, 2007. "When Shanell Jones graduated from Teaneck High School in June, she already had a deal with Def Jam, a major recording label. But as former Motown Records artist Taral Hicks (Grace Dodge, Class of 1993) and Alligator recording artist Shemekia Copeland (Teaneck, Class of 1997) could tell her, that's no big deal in this neck of the woods."
  2. ^ Billboard Music Charts - Latest Music News - Music Videos


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