Taraji Penda Henson was born and raised in Washington, D.C. She graduated from Howard University with a degree in drama. After graduating from college she headed for Los Angeles with her son.
Taraji is best known for her roles as Yvette in "Baby Boy" in 2001, Shug in "Hustle and Flow" in 2005, and Queeni in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" in 2008, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for an for Best Supporting Actress in 2009. In 2009, she appeared in Tyler Perry's "I Can Do Bad All By Myself" as April, an alcoholic singer.
Henson made her singing debut in "Hustle & Flow"; she provided the vocals for the Three 6 Mafia track "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp." The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2006, giving Three 6 Mafia the distinction of becoming the first Black hip-hop act to win in that category. Henson performed the song at the live Oscar ceremony on March 5, 2006 with the group.
Additionally, she performed the song "In My Daughter's Eyes" on the 2006 charity album Unexpected Dreams – Songs From the Stars.
Henson has made several appearances on music videos. Henson appeared in the rapper Common's music video called "Testify" in 2005 as the wife of a soon to be convicted murderer. On December 5, 2008, Jamie Foxx premiered his new music video "Just Like Me" on TBS featuring T.I. and Henson, the latter engaging Foxx in a series of "anything you can do, I can do better" style events.
-- Henson in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
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