Howard secured her first chart-topper, the first single, "Ain't Nuthin' in the World", peaked at number-one on the R&B Singles.
Howard scored two more Top 5 R&B hits from the album.
In November 1987 Howard released her second album, Love Confessions.
Le Mel Humes produced several tracks, and became a close friend, working with Howard on future albums throughout her career.
Howard was also influenced by jazz greats, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington and Nancy Wilson.
A second single and music video for "Release Me", was released, the song received modest radio airplay and peaked at number 43 on the R&B singles chart and also peaked at number 35 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay charts.
More singles were released as 'promotional, radio-only', the David Foster produced, "Shining Through" and "But I Love You", produced by Le Mel Humes.
Her success continued with two more Top 10 R&B singles from the album, Nick Martinelli produced, soul ballad "Baby, Be Mine" climbed to number five on the R&B Singles chart. The pair was also romantically involved, and that romance would spawn one of Howard's biggest hits from her third album.
The second single "That's What Love Is", a duet with hit-making R&B crooner Gerald Levert (lead singer of R&B group Levert), peaked to number five on the R&B Singles chart. On March 30, 1988, Howard won a Soul Train Music Award for Best New Artist.
Johnson charmed Howard and later chose her as the vocalist for the group. With Miki as new female vocalist, Side Effect's After The Rain was released in 1980.