Born and raised in East Orange, New Jersey, her musical talent first emerged at the age of 5 years old, when she joined the choir at her Baptist church. She attended St. Joseph's Catholic school for a brief period of time before being discovered. She sang the national anthem for various events in New Jersey.
In late 1999, at age 14, Naughton joined Adrienne Bailon and Kiely Williams to form the group 3LW. Their first single, 'No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)', was released in the fall of 2000. 'No More' was a success and was followed by the second single, 'Playas Gon' Play' in early 2001. The group's debut album, 3LW, was released on December 5, 2000. The album went platinum, selling 1.3 million copies in the US. In the summer of 2001, the group went on the MTV TRL tour along with Destiny's Child, Dream, Nelly, Eve, and Jessica Simpson.