Indie Wire explains that there were rumors of Henson being cast as the Terrell in Universal’s James Brown film, “Get On Up.” That never happened and may have been wishful thinking by whoever started the rumor.
The singer was born Thomasina Winifred Montgomery on April 29, 1945. Thomasina was named after her father Thomas, a local politician and barbershop owner.
When Tomasina was young her parents nicknamed her “Tommie.” Tommie didn’t last for long. After she saw the film, “Tammy and the Bachelor” Thomasina decided to change her name to Tammy.
She began singing when she was 11-years-old. The talented performer would compete in talent contests at Philadelphia’s Earle Theater. When she was 12-years-old she began suffering from migraine headaches yet her family didn’t believe they were serious.
As a teen, the singer was molested by three boys who were convicted of rape. Her singing career began when she was a teenager. She spent time singing backup for James Brown. The two had an intimate relationship that eventually turned abusive on Brown’s part.
I always thought Taraji P Henson highly resembled Tammi Terrell
In 1965, the singer married Ernie Terrell, a heavyweight boxer. A short time later the head of Motown Records, Berry Gordy Jr., spotted the singer performing in Detroit. Gordy signed her to Motown on her 20th birthday.
Some say she was never married to Ernie and only used his last name. This is most likely true considering the fact that she began a public relationship with David Ruffin a few years later.
In 1967, Tommie was chosen to replace Kim Weston as Marvin Gaye’s recording partner. Gaye and Terrell released multiple hit songs including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “Your Precious Love”, “If I could Build My Whole World Around You”, “You’re All I Need To Get By” and “Ain’t Nothing But The Real Thing.”
In October 1967, the singer collapsed into Gaye’s arms while performing at Virginia’s Hampton-Sydney College. She underwent eight operations over the next few years but her health continued to worsen. On March 16, 1970, Thomasina Winifred Montgomery passed away. She was 24-years-old.