CeCe Peniston was born Cecilia Veronica Peniston in Dayton, Ohio. Her storybook beginning is magical in that CeCe Peniston spent most of her formative years in Phoenix, Arizona and got her first start singing before her congregation in church. She performed in plays and musicals and participated in talent shows while learning to play the piano. The real testament of her talent was in 1987 when CeCe, still a high school student, landed a part in a local production of Bubbling Brown Sugar. From their, she would earn her diploma and continue on to the University of Phoenix to study Liberal Arts. These years would serve as a springboard for CeCe to develop her skills in writing lyrics. In 1989, CeCe was crowned Miss Black Arizona and reigned as Miss Galaxy in 1990. In 1991, CeCe elevated as a true artist when a friend and Phoenix based record producer, Felipe “DJ Wax Dawg” Delgado, asked her to record back- up vocals for a female rapper slated to release an album on A&M Records. Soon after, Peniston showed her willingness to make her own individual mark in the business, and land her solo project commissioned by then A&M Records music executive, Manny Lehman. Peniston’s hit single known today as “Finally” was born and CeCe accomplished what all talented artists only dream of, inking a deal for her own debut album. The 1990s, proved to be substantial for the Dayton, Ohio native. She became an international sensation and was considered to be one of the most successful dance club artists in the history of the US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play Charts. Peniston was successful at scoring five major number one hits within three years. Her signature Dance hit “Finally” was #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and #2 on the UK Top 75. It became one of the biggest dance records in history to sell over 3 million copies worldwide.