As an actress, Eve is best known for her roles as Terri Jones in the films Barbershop and Barbershop 2: Back in Business, and as Shelley Williams on the UPN television sitcom Eve.
Eve was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Julia Wilch-Jeffers, a publishing company supervisor, and Jerry Jeffers, a chemical plant supervisor. She adopted the name Gangsta in high school as part of an all-female group called EDGP (pronounced "Egypt").
During her early years in Philadelphia, she was educated at Martin Luther King High School. Eve's first musical interest was singing. She sang in many choirs and even formed an all-female singing group (Dope Girl Posse or D.G.P.) with a manager. This group covered songs from En Vogue and Color Me Badd. The group's manager suggested that the group should rap after seeing ABC, and Eve stuck with it. She then went on to form a rapping group. After the group split, Eve began working on a solo career under the name "Eve of Destruction." Eve recently moved from Los Angeles, California, to New York City.
Eve is featured (along with Erykah Badu) on the song "You Got Me" by The Roots, from their 1999 album Things Fall Apart. The song won a Grammy Award in 2000, which should have been Eve's first. Also in 1999, she was featured on Prince's album Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic, and she was to co-star on the eventually cancelled Hot Wit' U single from that same album. She stated on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in 2009 that she did not receive a Grammy for the track. Questlove, from The Roots, had brought his Grammy to the show that night and showed she's not even credited on the award plaque. Eve would win her own in 2002. She also provided background vocals on the song "Ain't Sayin' Nothin' New" from the same album. In the album's liner notes, she is referred to as Eve of Destruction.
1998–1999: Ruff Ryders' First Lady
Eve first appeared on the Bulworth soundtrack as Eve of Destruction while signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment. She did not receive much promotion with big releases soon coming from Dr. Dre, so she collaborated with DMX and the Ruff Ryders on her first single as a Ruff Ryder DJ Clue?'s The Professional, along with other Ruff Ryders' compilations. Her next single, "What Ya Want", featuring Nokio the N-Tity of Dru Hill, became a top 40 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 peaking at 29. Her 1999 debut, Let There Be Eve...Ruff Ryders' First Lady, was an unprecedented success, making it the third album by a female rap artist to top the Billboard 200, behind Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998) and Foxy Brown's Chyna Doll (1999). Two singles were released from the album: "Gotta Man" and "Love Is Blind" featuring Faith Evans. The first one peaked at number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100, the second one at number 34.
In Novembre 1999, Eve featured on Missy Elliott's single "Hot Boyz (Remix)" along with Nas, Lil Mo and Q-Tip. The song became a hit, spending 18 weeks at number one on the Hot Rap Singles from November 16, 1999 to March 7, 2000, and reaching number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 .
The follow-up to Ruff Ryders' First Lady, Scorpion, was released in 2001. Its first single, "Who's That Girl" guaranteed the rapper first international success. The second single, "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" (with Gwen Stefani of No Doubt and produced by Dr. Dre co-written by then-boyfriend Stevie J.), became a pop success, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The song won a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and Eve eventually went platinum.
One of the record's strengths, cited in several reviews, was Eve's exploration of her singing voice in addition to her rapping skills. "I was a singer before I started rapping," Eve said in a Ruff Ryders press release, "so on this album I wanted my audience to hear more of my vocal skills".
Eve's third album, Eve-Olution, was released in summer 2002 (see 2002 in music) and peaked at number six on the Billboard 200. In the meantime, the album's first single, "Gangsta Lovin'", with Alicia Keys, became another number two hit. The second and final single, "Satisfaction", only saw moderate success again. Eve-Olution went gold selling 720,000 copies becoming Eve's lowest selling album to date. Eve also appeared on the remixed version of Michael Jackson's "Butterflies".
2005–2012: Guest singles
In 2005, the rapper appeared on Gwen Stefani's cover version of Louchie Lou & Michie One song "Rich Girl", which peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 in March. The same year, she appeared on the official remix of Amerie's number one U.S. R&B hit, "1 Thing" the Hitch soundtrack. Eve also was featured in Keyshia Cole's single "Never" as on the Barbershop 2: Back in Business soundtrack and Cole's debut album The Way It Is, along with the official remix for Teairra Mari's second single, "No Daddy".
In 2007, she appeared on Kelly Rowland's single "Like This". The Punk Cabaret band One On None covered Eve's 1999 song "Love Is Blind". In July 2007, Eve made a guest appearance on Maroon 5's second single Wake Up Call on Live @ 45th at Night, it is unknown if this will be an official remix or if it will even be recorded. In late 2008, she sung the song "Set It On Fire", which was featured on the credits for the movie Transporter 3 and is available on the Transporter 3 soundtrack. In April 2009, Eve featured along with Lil' Jon on the song "Patron Tequila", the debut single of girl group Paradiso Girls.
In March 2010, Eve featured on the official remix of Ludacris' song "My Chick Bad", Diamond and Trina are also featured in the song. The three female rappers starred in the video for the remix, in which appeares Nicki Minaj too. In November 2010, Eve wrote and performed a rap on Australian singer Guy Sebastian's single "Who's That Girl", which reached number one on the ARIA Singles Chart and has been certified 4x platinum sold. In December 2010, Eve featured on Alicia Keys' track "Speechless", though the song will not be released as a single or part of an album, it did chart on the US R&B chart, making it Eve's first appearance as a featured artist on the Billboard Charts for quite some time.
In March 2011, Eve featured on Swizz Beatz' song and video "Everyday (Coolin')", the first promotional single from his upcoming album Haute Living. In April 2011, Eve featured on Jill Scott's new song "Shame" from Scott's Billboard 200 number one album The Light of the Sun. The same month, Eve featured on Russian rapper Timati's new song and video "Money In Da Bank".. In April 2012, Eve featured on reggae artist Shaggy's single "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". The song samples the omonymous 1979 hit single by Cyndi Lauper. Eve appeared on the video of the song, released on Youtube on June 14, 2012. The song charted in some European countries.
2007–2013: Lip Lock
In 2007, Eve began work on a new album titled Here I Am. In May 2007, XXL magazine profiled six recorded tracks from Here I Am. Five of them were produced by Swizz Beatz, including singles "Tambourine" and "Give It To You" (featuring Sean Paul). Pharrell Williams produced "All Night Long". In contrast to most of the tracks, Eve sings rather than raps on "All Night Long". XXL published a review of the original Here I Am in July, rating it an L in its "shoe size" rating system ranging from S to XXL. However the album ran into a series of delays due to corporate change at the record label and discontent with the lackluster success of the first and second singles, "Tambourine", released in April 2007, and "Give It to You" (featuring Sean Paul), released during the summer.
The project was delayed to September 11, 2007 and then October 16, but it was never released. Problems at her label, Interscope Records, were responsible for the multiple delays. Although, being renamed twice from "Here I Am" to "Flirt" to "Lip Lock". Lip Lock was expected to be released during 2011, but was delayed again. She has stated that the first single will come in the late spring. Eve stated that there will be several buzz singles before the official single and said the album will have 'hard street stuff', 'radio singles' and stuff to listen to 'when you're feeling down'. In an interview on Billboard.com Eve said: "One of the biggest things that I wanted to do on this album was make people realize why they fell in love with me in the first place and then take them on a journey to where I am now musically. My ear is different but I think people will recognize me. I think you'll hear that I'm in a happy place. I miss my music. My hunger is different than the first time around". The album Lip Lock is set to be released under Eve's own label FTR Music on May 14, 2013, it will be distributed through Sony/Red.
On October 9, 2012 Eve released the buzz/viral single "She Bad Bad" on iTunes. On November 2012, Eve started a series of weekly releases called EVEstlin' Tuesdays. She remixed and added freestyle rap verses on 2012 hit singles like Rihanna's "Diamonds" and Miguel's "Adorn". On 8th January 2013 the video of "She Bad Bad" was premiered via Vevo. On January 23, Eve realesed an official remix of "She Bad Bad" featuring Juicy J and Pusha T.