The Transformation Of Erika Jayne From Toddler To 49 Years Old

Erika Jayne is the designer-clad bombshell that we all grew to love on Bravo's "The Real Housewives in Beverly Hills." The dance-pop singer's life is one that many wish to have: married to a famed lawyer, living in a mansion in Beverly Hills, and having number one hits under her belt. Don't let the seemingly perfect life fool you, however: Erika's off-camera life is also a "Pretty Mess." After 22 years of marriage to Thomas Girardi, Erika filed for divorce in November 2020. In a statement, Erika told People, "After much consideration, I have decided to end my marriage to Tom Girardi. This is not a step taken lightly or easily. I have great love and respect for Tom and for our years and the lives we built together." The divorce hasn't been easy, as embezzlement allegations have come to light since the news broke. It's without a doubt that Erika's life on- and off-camera has all of our attention. Let's take a trip down memory lane to see her transformation from toddler to 49 years old.

Erika Jayne grew up in a musical household

Erika Jayne's love for music and performing is something that is dear to her, considering the fact that she grew up in a musical household. Erika Jayne, birth name Erika Chahoy, was born on July 10, 1971 in Atlanta, Georgia. She began performing at the age of 3 years old, according to Bravo. She learned about music at an early age from her mother, who was a classically trained pianist.

"You know, one of my special childhood memories is waking up on the weekend and listening to my mother playing downstairs," Erika told AceShowbiz in 2009 (via Bravo). "So, we would have all these beautiful classical music in the house and that was such a wonderful feeling. So, sure. She's been an influence on my musical career."

Although Erika went in the dance-pop direction with her own music, she cites artists such as Prince, Madonna, and Michael Jackson as her musical influences. Specifically, the reality star says Prince had a profound impact on her sound. "I've always loved the erotic quality of Prince," she said. "I just think he's a musical genius and I've always admired everything that he's done."

Erika Jayne chose her high school wisely

By her teenage years, Erika Jayne had it already set in her mind that she would pursue a professional music career. In fact, Erika chose her high school based on her future plans. As a teenager, Erika attended North Atlanta High School for the Performing Arts where she developed herself as a live performer. During an interview with 303 Magazine in 2013, the singer reflected on the professional lessons she's learned at her alma mater.

"Going to school in a performing arts magnet program, we performed about 3-4 shows per week. And that's where you really learned to love the stage and really hone your early performing skills," she said. "I wouldn't trade that experience for anything in the world! I think that every kid who wants to perform should have the luxury of going to a performing arts high school because it's really where you discover your early artistry, who you are, and what you want to do next. From what she learned in high school, Erika took her talents to New York City after graduating at the age of 18.

Erika Jayne was a starving artist in New York City

As a self-proclaimed "starving artist" in New York City, Erika Jayne began her music career in girl groups performing at local clubs. She told 303 Magazine, "I was doing any job I could just to stay alive. A lot of extra work." She continued, "New York City is such an awesome place with a lot of great artists doing great things at the top level. There was so much going on then and so much going on now. It was really 'the' place to go to hone your artistry."

Erika recalled having her family's support in her decision to move to New York. "Everybody in my family was extremely supportive because they really had no choice. They knew that this was the only thing that I wanted to do. So, they kind of gave in. It wasn't a hard sell, believe me. While in the city, Erika found love in her first husband, Thomas Zizzo, when he was a DJ at a Manhattan club. The two married in December 1991. Soon after, the couple welcomed a son, Thomas Zizzo Jr.

Erika Jayne found love in Tom Girardi after her divorce

After a few years of marriage, Erika Jayne and Thomas Zizzo divorced. Erika moved to Los Angeles, where she met her husband, famed trial attorney Tom Girardi. When her son became a teenager, the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star found the time to fully pursue her music career under her stage name, Erika Jayne. In 2007, she released her debut hit with her first single "Rollercoaster," which went number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart, per Bravo.

Since then, Erika has had several number one hits and has toured the world. In 2010, she started her own record label, Pretty Mess Records. In Erika's perspective, her musical empire is expressive of her desire to be authentic to herself. "I started this project because I wanted to express myself and I wanted to say the things that I wanted to say and do the things that I wanted to do," she told 303 Magazine. "The industry had changed so you could put your music out on the internet, on iTunes, and things like that. And it made an independent artist profile far more available than it used to be."

Erika is living her dreams as both a performer and an entrepreneur. Love to see it!

This is how Erika Jayne predicted she'd be a reality star

Long before she joined season 6 of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," Erika Jayne foreshadowed that she would become a reality TV star. During an interview with EdgeMediaNetwork in 2011, the entertainer revealed she'd consider being in reality TV. "I just might be...but I don't know how much you could show of my life," she said (via Bravo). "My life is quite entertaining." Clearly, she isn't lying. In 2015, Erika joined the cast of "RHOBH" and instantly became one of the most stylish members on the show. As if that isn't a flex within itself, she appeared on "Dancing With The Stars" in 2017. In 2019, she announced she was playing Roxie Hart in the "Chicago" musical on Broadway. Erika's passion for music has brought her a long way, and now she's part of reality TV history. Like her inaugural "RHOBH" tagline says, she is an "enigma wrapped in a riddle — and cash."