Born in Orange, California, Toni Childs grew up in a variety of locations around the U.S. and lived in London for four years, where she had a song-publishing deal with Island Music. She then moved to Los Angeles, where she became involved with David Ricketts (of David + David) and collaborated on the soundtrack for the film Echo Park
(1986). Her debut album, Union, was recorded in London, Paris, Los Angeles, and Africa, and reflected an interest in the music of Zimbabwe as well as more conventional singer/songwriter styles. It earned her an opening spot on a Bob Dylan tour and a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal, as well as reaching the charts. Childs' follow-up, House of Hope, was released in 1991. Her third album, The Woman's Boat, appeared in 1994. After a 14-year wait, her next album, the aptly titled Keep the Faith, was released in 2008.