Dawn Angeliqué Richard, known professionally as Dawn Richard or D∆WN (born August 5, 1983), is an American singer-songwriter.
Richard started her career after auditioning for Making the Band 3 in 2004, During this time Richard became a member of American girl band Danity Kane, from 2005 to 2009, and reformed the group with 3 of the original 5 members in late 2013.
In 2009 Richard joined Diddy-Dirty Money with label head Sean "Diddy" Combs and Kalenna Harper, disbanding in 2011.
Her debut album Goldenheart was released on January 15, 2013, by Our Dawn Entertainment; it received universal acclaim from music critics.
In 2015 Richard's sophomore album Blackheart peaked at number two on Billboard's Dance/Electronic charts.
Richard is of Louisiana Creole and Haitian descent and was born in New Orleans, Louisiana with 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 father is Frank Richard, former lead singer and percussionist of the popular Funk/Soul band Chocolate Milk.
Her mother owned a dancing school where Dawn spent much of her childhood developing her skills at choreography and singing. Recording in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New Orleans, Dawn Richard and Yeah!
Early on in her teenage life, Richard began performing with a local New Orleans group called "Realiti". Smothers at a 2004 live performance at Tipitina's Uptown in New Orleans, Richard was soon signed under the name "Dawn Angelique" to an exclusive recording contract/development deal with Octarve Anderson, Jr. Brother records, along with platinum awarded production team The Nex Men, Rochad Holiday and Curtis "Sauce" Wilson, crafted a stellar studio solo album called "Been a While", featuring the single "So What" which was co-produced by Ne-Yo. Brother Records and its New Orleans management company, Scratch Entertainment, headed by Kemic A.
Smothers, Esq., agreed after negotiations with Sean "Diddy" Combs of Bad Boy Records, to postpone release of the album while arranging an immediate release from her exclusive recording contract with Yeah! 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 "Been A While", 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 Richard's "big break" came in 2005 when she auditioned for the MTV show Making the Band 3 in Orlando, where she was chosen to compete for a spot in Combs's future girl group.
After the negotiated release from her contract with Yeah!