Laiona created the critical and box-office smash Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical, which won the Broadway Alliance Award for Best Solo Show and the Lilly Award (2022). Now, she takes on the mantle of book writer, for a new project, Mandela -- a musical based on Nelson Mandela’s life, from his days as a leading activist against Apartheid, to his imprisonment and eventual release to become the nation’s President. Mandela debuts at the Young Vic in London in the Winter of 2022. Laiona Michelle began to gain national notoriety when she made her Broadway debut in 2015 in the musical, Amazing Grace, which opened at the Nederlander. Cast in the principal role of Nanna, a woman stolen away from her family by slave traders, she delivers one of the standout musical moments of the play. Laiona Michelle has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Lucille Lortel (2022), Antonyo Awards (2022); and she is the recipient of the Barrymore and Carbonell Awards (2004); The NAACP Hollywood award (2005), and she was nominated for the Helen Hayes Award (2005). Some of her TV/Film credits include Lift, All My Children, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Blacklist, and Crashing, as well as Amazon’s Sneaky Pete.