Erika dreamed of being in showbiz at a young age and attended a performing arts high school in her native Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of 18, she moved to New York City to pursue her aspirations. Although Erika got married and had a son not long after moving to New York, she never gave up on her dream of being a singer and a performer. After divorcing her first husband, Erika moved to Los Angeles where she met and married trial attorney Tom Girardi. When her son was a teenager, she finally found the time to pursue her performing passion. Her alter-ego Erika Jayne made her smash debut on the music scene in 2007 with her first single "Rollercoaster," which went number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. Since then, Erika has had several number one Billboard singles, toured the world, and collaborated with the likes of Flo Rida. Erika published a New York Times best-selling memoir titled Pretty Mess and rode her fame into a starring role in Chicago on Broadway, playing Roxie Hart. In November 2020, Erika announced that she and Tom were divorcing after 21 years of marriage. Most recently, Erika made her mark on the beauty world with the launch of her hair extension line, Pretty Mess Hair.