Born Tiffany Cobb, Blu Cantrell's parents were both successful personalities in their own right. Her Italian mother was a former beauty queen, actress and jazz singer and her father was a Native Indian who played professional basketball. After recording several demos, Cantrell found work singing back-up vocals with Puff Daddy, Faith Evans and Aaron Hall and went on to collaborate with a series of front-line artists, including Babyface, Usher and Dionne Warwick. In 2001 she worked on her debut album So Blu with producers Jam & Lewis and Dallas Austin, which broke into the US Top 10 albums, and featured the hit single Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!) - which reached Number 2 in the singles chart and earned her Grammy Awards nominations. She went on to co-write It's Killing Me (In My Mind) for the 2002 movie Bad Company and sang the American National Anthem in the film Drumline. Her second album Bittersweet followed in 2003, including the smash hit Breathe, a Number 1 in the UK, featuring Sean Paul, and it became one of the biggest-selling singles of the year.