Mary Griffin is an urban R&B singer who released her debut album, For the First Time, in 1997. Griffin was born in New Orleans, the daughter of a local minister. As a child, she sang in churches with her family, and by her teens she had realized she wanted to pursue a musical career. Her style eventually developed into a gospel-inflected contemporary update of classic soul; even though she was a New Orlean native, there was very little Crescent City R&B in her style. She was discovered singing at a local club in the mid-'90s by some talent scouts.