Laiona is the creator and star of Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical. She is also the book writer for Mandela -The Musical based on Nelson Mandela’s life, from his days as a leading activist against Apartheid to his imprisonment and eventual release. Mandela debuted at the Young Vic in London in the Winter of 2022. Laiona Michelle 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 in Sierra Leone by slave traders. Laiona is the recipient of the Broadway Alliance Award and Lilly Award (2022); the Barrymore and Carbonell Awards (2004); and the NAACP Hollywood award (2005). Laiona was also nominated for numerous awards, including the Lucille Lortel and Antonyo Awards (2022); and 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, Crashing, Amazon’s Sneaky Pete, and Blue Bloods.