Richard is of African-American and Haitian descent and was born in New Orleans, Louisiana with one brother.
Richard's "big break" came in 2005 when she auditioned for the MTV show Making the Band 3 in Orlando, where she was chosen to compete for a spot in Combs's future girl group. The newly formed group became Danity Kane. The idea for the name of the group came from one of Richard's drawings. An avid fan of manga, while Danity Kane was in the studio, Richard drew a female superhero which caught the attention of Combs. When asked what the character's name was, she replied, "Danity Kane." To Combs, this represented the girls of Making the Band 3. He then decided that it should be the name of the group.