Spencer began modeling in pageant competitions at the age of 5 then entered and won the syndicated television talent show Star Search in 1987, singing Whitney Houston's 1986 hit song "How Will I Know".
Shortly afterwards, she became the youngest female artist to sign a record deal with a major label, Capitol Records, and to release a self-titled debut album. She found success with the singles "Hide and Seek", "Symptoms of True Love" and her remake of John Lennon's "Imagine". Her second album, Make the Difference, was released on August 27, 1990 .
The first single, "Save Your Love", showed an impressive standing at #7 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. Her following single, "This House", became her biggest hit to date reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Tender Kisses", one of her best known ballads, hit #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks and made her the youngest female artist to receive the ASCAP songwriter of the year award. The other singles, "This Time Make It Funky" and "Love Me", charted relatively well on The Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks. Spencer attended Columbus High School in Waterloo, Iowa.
She also served on the board of the Children's Defense Fund as a teen and was given the Martin Luther King Christian Leadership Award for being a positive role model to youth and traveling across the US and abroad as part of a "Stay In School" program.
She made a guest appearance on the hit ABC sitcom, Family Mattersas well as commercials, in 1993 and recorded the song "I'll Be There for You" for the 1997 film, Good Burger, "The Rain" for "A Smile Like Yours" starring Lauren Holly and Greg Kinnear, "Down In The Delta", and "Girlfight" starring Michelle Rodriquez. She also modeled for Tommy Hilfiger, Chanel and Dollhouse, which lead to her being a part of New York and LA's fashion weeks in 1999-2000, being styled by Derek Khan, being signed to "NEXT" modeling agency and appearing in numerous magazines.
On June 29, 1999, she released Tracie and found success with the hit singles "It's All About You (Not About Me)" that sold well over 500,000 copies, and "Still In My Heart"that later brought her to platinum status. In the 2000s, she started singing background vocals on Hip-Hop songs for rappers such as Kanye West, 50 Cent, and Eve as well as songwriting for other artist's projects. She acted in the short film, A Tale of Two Sisters; in 2004 and in 2006, she performed in a play called Choices in Los Angeles. As of 2007, Ms. Spencer has taken a hiatus from music but still modeling and is pursuing other interests, but there is talk of her working on a couple of different projects. As of 2008 Ms. Spencer has also done some songwriting with producer Julian Bunetta who has produced hits for country artist Big and Rich and pop acts such as Natasha Bedingfield and Leona