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Calesha Murray (born July 22, 1987), known professionally as Bre-Z, is an American rapper and actress. She portrays Tamia Cooper in a starring role in All American.

Biography

She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but was raised in Wilmington, Delaware. Her grandmother gave her the nickname "Bre-Z" at birth when she would not stop crying until a window was shut, so they called her "breezy". She found out it wasn't her real name when she began elementary school. As a child, she had short hair and people would often mistake her for a boy. In sixth grade, she decided that she wanted to pursue music. Her mother worked in the entertainment industry, and Bre-z once woke up to Wu-Tang Clan in her living room, so Bre-Z knew that she would become involved in the entertainment industry from a young age.Bre-Z graduated high school in 2005. She attended Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. In 2008, she moved to Atlanta when her mom found a job there, and Bre-Z and began cutting hair to make money. Bre-Z began cutting hair at the age of 10, and comes from a family of barbers, with her grandfather, father, and mother all working as barbers. While working as a barber, she cut hair for Akon and Ludacris. In 2014, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming a musician with only one dollar in her bank account.

Bre-Z began her music career at age 14 with impromptu performances around Philadelphia. Her brother used to rap, and she would perform his songs until she began writing her own. When she was 15, she met Freeway of Roc-A-Fella Records rap group State Property. Freeway put her in a studio and recorded her first song with her.

Bre-Z began writing songs with Dr. Dre, Jennifer Lopez, and The Game. She moved to Los Angeles when she was 24 to pursue her music. In 2015, after landing an audition through a barbershop connection, Bre-Z was cast in the role of Freda Gatz. It was her first audition and first time acting. She appeared on the soundtrack several times throughout her time on the show, sometimes performing her own raps. In November 2018, she was the Grand Marshal of the Xavier University homecoming parade.

Filmography

Television
Year Title Role Notes
2015-2019 Empire Freda Gatz Recurring character, 31 episodes
2016 The Real Self 1 Episode
2017 Tales Ty Episode: "Children's Story"
2017 The New Edition Story Peanut Bell Episode: "Part 1"
2018 Celebrity Page Self 1 Episode
2018-present All American Tamia "Coop" Cooper Series Regular
Film
Year Title Role Notes
2017 Fat Camp Winnie
2018 Down for Whatever Denise TV Movie
2020 16 Bars Taj post-production


Trivia

  • "Coop is literally the Bre-Z I was in high school," emphasizing the similarities between her and her character in a interview after her role has been praised as breaking barriers for the LGBTQ community. [1]

References