Tiffany Riddick

Tiffany Riddick



“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit; and that your fruit should remain. And whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it you.”
-St John 15:16

This scripture is particularly fitting for Tiffany Riddick (b. Tiffany Marshall) after wrestling with God and her music ministry. At an early age, every one around this Tennessee native knew what her future held. The New Jersey resident first performed “Soon and Very Soon (We Are Going to See the King)” in front of her church family at the age of 3. It was then that her family realized where the young singer’s path would lead. This realization would not be so visible for Tiffany until over two decades later.

Tiffany was raised in a God-fearing, musical family with her mother, aunt and grandparents all being singers. Her grandmother was a devout churchgoer and saw to it that her grandchild was very active in her church. At Tabernacle Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, the foundation of her Christian walk was laid. She was actively involved in various ministries including the Sunday School, Usher Board, Willing Workers and Youth Ministry. Her favorite activity, however, was her involvement in the church’s music ministry. There, she was one of the co-founders for the Young Adult Choir and a regular soloist. Her aunt Beverly, an accomplished singer in her own right, had opened her eyes to the world of music and Tiffany carries this appreciation until today.

As a teenager, Tiffany was a founder and soloist of Unified Praise, a local gospel group. Practicing daily after school, the group became widely known and celebrated in their community and surrounding areas. Also impressive was the group’s spiritual maturity at such a young age, with the oldest member being 18 years old. As some of the group’s older members moved on to college, the group slowly dissolved. Following the group’s demise, Tiffany was co-founder of yet another local gospel group, Sisters in Praise. She remained with the group for two years, when she then left for college.

Up until college, Tiffany’s sole focus was on gospel music. However, her college experience influenced a newfound pursuit into secular music. Tiffany began working with R&B producers and recording secular songs. “Everyone around me questioned my new direction, but I admit being attracted by the fortune and fame. I genuinely saw this as a means of living a comfortable life and being able to support my family for years to come”. This pursuit, however, proved very uncomfortable for Tiffany as she found herself singing about things she’d never experienced and knew were wrong. Furthermore, as she continued to strive towards becoming ‘a star’, she discovered everyone’s attention was on something other than her voice – her appearance. “At home, I’d been told by my Pastor and other’s that there was an anointing on my life and I had a wonderful voice. Then, I was told by the music industry it was all worthless if I didn’t have ‘the look’”.

Tiffany hadn’t completely abandoned gospel music. Attending Morgan State University on a full music scholarship, she had the opportunity to travel around the world as a soloist with the world renowned Morgan State University Choir including classmates Jonathan Nelson (Jonathan Nelson & Purpose) and Darrin Atwater (Richard Smallwood, T.D. Jakes). Under the direction of the late Dr. Nathan Carter, Tiffany learned to appreciate not only contemporary gospel, but traditional music including hymns and Negro Spirituals. It was this influence that would keep her grounded during these impressionable times.

During her sophomore year, Tiffany met two friends who were interested in forming a trio. The friends came together and formed ‘On Point’. With each known in their respective church communities as anointed young ladies, it seemed obvious that the trio would form to sing gospel music. Yet, the group decided to take a secular path, which later proved to be the wrong one. On Point was presented with three major label opportunities within a year, but due to internal management conflict, all fell through. In 1998, the group was featured with MCA recording artists K-Ci & Jo-Jo on the remix version of “Fee Fie Foe Fum” from their 1999 album releases “It’s Real”. Shortly afterward, the group disbanded and went their separate ways. Tiffany would go on to perform as a recurring background vocalist for various artists including Michelle Williams, Carl Thomas, Avant, Mariah Carey, Mya, Cheryl Pepsi Riley, Christina Aguilera, Nelly and Melonie Daniels. It was conversation with Daniels that made Tiffany reflect to decide if she was headed down the right path. “I complained to Melonie that things didn’t seem to be working out for me and I was frustrated that I hadn’t obtained a record deal. She simply said ‘that’s because you’re walking in the wrong direction’ and walked away.” After further conversation with her mother, family m