Patina Miller was born in the small American town of Pageland, South Carolina where she was surrounded by gospel, blues, rhythm and swing music.
At an early age she performed in her local gospel choir at church, but it was when she played Miss Hannigan in Annie that her talent was first noticed. At the age of 15 she was accepted into a performing-arts school and later won a full scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh where she graduated with a degree in musical theatre.
In 2005 she was one of three finalists for the role of Effie White in Dreamgirls: the part which Jennifer Hudson ultimately won. In 2007 Patina moved to Los Angeles and appeared in 30 episodes of the US day time soap opera All My Children, but was keen to focus on musical theatre and appeared as one of the Harlettes in Bette Midler's Las Vegas revue The Showgirl Must Go On at Caesar's Palace. She played Dionne in a Central Park production of Hair in the summer of 2008 and was featured in the musical Romantic Poetry at the Manhattan Theatre Club.
Following a year long international search Miller was cast as the lead Deloris Van Cartier in the London production of Sister Act the Musical (a role she had understudied for six months during its initial run in the United States). The show opened at the London Palladium in June 2009 and closed on 30th october 2010 with most critics singling out Miller and praising her performance. She has been reprising the role on Broadway for the past year.