Born in Harlem, Tyler Collins grew up in Detroit and moved to Los Angeles at the age of thirteen. She began dance lessons at age seven, and started performing in musicals a year later. Tyler concentrated on stage and theater, performing in musicals, drama, and Shakespeare festivals. With the Willow Opera Workshop, a children’s theater group, she performed operettas in the Los Angeles area.
Her professional music career started when Collins joined The Boys Next Door, singing lead vocals for the R&B band. Jermaine Jackson later signed the group to his now-defunct label, Work Records. Two years later, Collins left the band to pursue a solo career.
Tyler also sang background vocals on Vanessa Williams’s debut album, The Right Stuff. She continued writing, and had several songs covered by artists such as Celine Dion, Jeffrey Osborne, and Shanice. In 1992, Collins sang backup and appeared in the music video with Tevin Cambell for the single “Goodbye”.
As a result of working with the artist formerly known as Prince, Collins landed a solo deal at Warner Bros. Records, which led her to recording the theme song to the Paramount Pictures’ film Andre.