Muni Long has been on the music scene for a minute — but you might not recognize the name. That’s about to change when the singer/songwriter takes the stage at the highly anticipated BET Awards show on Sunday, June 26. Muni — who’s behind some of your favorite artists’ biggest hits — will be joined by the likes of Chance the Rapper, Lizzo, Lil Wayne and more for the annual celebration of Black excellence in music, film/TV, and sports, which will be hosted by the one and only Taraji P. Henson. Keep reading to find out all about Muni Long (pronounced “money long”) below.
1. Muni Long is a Florida native
Muni was born Priscilla Renea Hairston in Vero Beach, Florida in 1988. In her teens, she began recording her singing sessions and posting the videos to YouTube, with an early entry being her take on Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River,” according to MTV. After her YouTube channel hit 30,000 followers, she was able to compete on the channel’s Say What? Karaoke show.
2. She recorded her first album at age 21 under a different name
After being signed to Capital Records at the age of 21, Muni released her debut album Jukebox in 2009. Despite a mildly successful run of its lead single “Dollhouse” and critical acclaim, the album failed to chart.
3. Muni wrote songs for Rihanna and Ariana Grande
After her own solo career stalled, Muni began sharpeming her songwriting skills for other artists. She eventually landed in the recording studio with Rihanna (“California King Bed,” “Watch n’ Learn”), Ariana Grande (“Imagine,” “Fake Smile”), and Mariah Carey (“Infinity,” “A No No”). She also helped write “Worth It” for Fifth Harmony and “Timber” for Pitbull.
4. She has a new single with John Legend
On June 17, John Legend released his latest single “Honey” featuring Muni Long. The R&B song is the first project the pair have worked on together as recording artists, as they have collaborated behind the scenes on several tracks previously. The song is the second single from Legend’s upcoming eighth studio album, following the song “Dope.”
5. Muni tried using another name before hitting it big
“I was just trying things for a second, and none of it was working,” Muni told Rolling Stone about venturing out into different genres. “I had changed my name to Melrose. In 2018, I put out this country record — let me switch genres, let me see if that helps.” Although the album was another bomb, she was ready to try country music again, but came to her senses. “Somewhere in that process, it wasn’t clicking.”
Eventually, Muni started her own label, Supergiant Records. and finally struck gold as a singer with her self-released “Hrs and Hrs,” a single released in January that hit Number Two on Apple Music’s daily chart.
Now the world will see even more of what Muni has in store at Sunday’s show!