She has one brother. She is currently living in Baltimore , Maryland due to being displaced after Hurricane Katrina. Music has played an influential part in her life since early childhood.
Her mother owned a dancing school where Richard spent much of her childhood developing her choreography and singing skills. Early in her teens, Richard began performing with a local New Orleans group called "Realiti". Discovered as a solo artist by Kemic A. Although it had no releases and did not chart, the studio album Been a While was still good enough to secure her a spot as the opening act for Anthony Hamilton in Tallahassee, Florida.
During the recording of the album, she focused on touring and live performances, dance, and becoming an NBA cheerleader for the New Orleans Hornets while attending the University of New Orleans.
Making the Band 3 and Danity Kane[ edit ] Richard's "big break" came in when she auditioned for the MTV show Making the Band 3 in Orlando, where she was chosen to compete for a spot in Combs' future girl group. After the negotiated release from her contract with Yeah!
Woods " , and Shannon Bex. The newly formed group became Danity Kane. The idea for the name came from one of Richard's drawings. An avid fan of manga , while Danity Kane was in the studio, Richard drew a female superhero which caught the attention of Combs. When asked what the character's name was, she replied, "Danity Kane". To Combs, this represented the girls of Making the Band 3. He then decided that it should be the name of the group.
The song has since become one of the most listened to songs on Cherri V's MySpace page. Although it was buzzed as a Danity Kane track, only Richard's voice was featured on the song, which caued speculation that it was a solo demo. Richard also said in an interview that she would be releasing a soundtrack for the Danity Kane comic book, to be released in March Included would be the leaked track "Falls Away". He told Richard that she would stay on the label and that if there were any future plans for a new Danity Kane, she would be the only returning member.
Soon after Danity Kane's breakup, Richard was featured in a commercial for the opposition of California's Prop 8. She is the first member of Danity Kane to have released professional music under a major label after their split, with the Dirty Money album. ATellTaleHeart    was released on February 7, on her official website. It contains 15 tracks. The remix, which was co-written by songwriter Intyce, hit the internet on June 21, and reached over 5, downloads within a few hours.
Other promotional singles such as "Fly, Change, and Black Lipstick" came after. She quickly followed with a leading single titled "Bombs". The video shows heavy choreography in a desert. After the success of "Bombs", Richard's next official single from Armor On was released: The following music video was filmed in July Richard released three video trailers on YouTube for her singles "Faith" and "Wild N'Young", which were meshed into one music video released on August 29, as the final release from Armor On.
Richard announced that her major solo debut project will be a trilogy of albums entitled Goldenheart , BlackHeart , and RedemptionHeart. GoldenHeart was expected to be released on October 16, In celebration of her one million Twitter followers, Richard introduced the set-up for her album GoldenHeart on July 17, with a track entitled "Pretty Wicked Things".
It was produced and co-written by Armor On collaborator Druski, and is available on iTunes. Goldenheart was released on January 15, in stores and through online retailers. Originally intended for release in October , Richard delayed the release after signing a distribution deal with independent company Altavoz Distribution , which would release physical copies to retailers,  and provide a wider marketing reach.
DK3 and Blackheart[ edit ] Richard was scheduled to release the second installment in her album trilogy, BlackHeart, in October , but announced that the album would be released after the Danity Kane project. The video was originally shelved in May after Richard and producer Drew Scott parted ways. The video received positive reviews as it continued where the "86" music video left off.
Original group member D. Woods did not take part in the reunion. The group's first official reunion single, "Lemonade", was released on the Internet via SoundCloud. The single was produced by the Stereotypes, and features rapper Tyga over a production sampled from "Grindin'", the hit song by Clipse.
On May 16, , the first night of their DKNoFilter Tour after performing several songs with Danity Kane, Fimbres announced that she would be leaving the group at the end of their tour, and that O'Day, Bex, and Richard would be continuing on as a trio.
After days of speculation, O'Day and Bex released a public statement announcing the group's second disbandment. Despite the group's break-up, their third album, DK3 , was released on October 27, On October 29, , two days after DK3's release, Richard debuted the music video for her lead single "Blow" to Vevo. Along with the video, she announced the new release date for her sophomore album Blackheart, January 15, About the single she said: The official music video premiered on October 5, , mashed with "Billie Jean" from Blackheart.
On March 12, Dawn started her Redemption Live show tour and performed the first ever YouTube live performance. On November 10, , Redemption was made available to stream exclusively on NPR one week ahead of its release.
The album was officially released on November 18, She provided guest vocals on the song "Cool Your Heart" from Dirty Projectors ' self-titled album , which was released February 21, Personal life[ edit ] Richard has been vegan since She posed naked for one PETA ad campaign promoting the lifestyle, and appeared in another protesting the use of leather. Klang were featured on the second season of Making the Band 4. The series showed the two groups doing performances and living together, and the relationships between members of the bands.
The series showed Richard's relationship with Day26's Qwanell Mosley grow, and the two entering into a romantic relationship. The two broke up after a five-year relationship. Richard said it was Mosley's infidelity that broke them up in a radio interview for Sway in the Morning.
In she launched a capsule collection of women's shoes via Lust for Life, and a new addition of shades to accompany the Blackheart album release.